Sunderland caretaker manager Kevin Ball has hinted that he would like the job on a permanent basis.
Ball was skipper as Sunderland won the Division One title in 1999
Ball, previously assistant manager at the club's Academy, has been appointed for the last 10 games of the season after the dismissal of Mick McCarthy.
"I've always said that I had aspirations of managing the club," Ball told the club's website.
"I was talking about further down the line and this is unexpected, but when I was asked I thought 'Let's go for it'."
McCarthy was dismissed as manager on Monday with Sunderland 16 points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Premiership table.
And Ball added: "While I have the utmost respect for Mick, this is a big opportunity for me and I'm very proud to be the caretaker manager of Sunderland.
"I captained the club for eight years and I've experienced all the highs and the lows, just like the fans.
"I was out training with the kids when I got a call to go in. The first person I spoke to after being offered the role was my wife, and then I went to speak with the manager.
"Mick just wished me all the best and said he would give me any help I needed. We all know these things happen in football."
Ball will take charge of his first training session on Wednesday ahead of Saturday's home match against Wigan.
But the 41-year-old is refusing to make any predictions about how many points his team can acquire between now and the end of the season.
"I'll have a meeting with the players, have our say and then get out there and train. I'm excited at the prospect," he said.
"People ask me what my aims are. I've always been a great believer in taking one game at a time. We would just like a win, and the sooner the better."
Ball's playing career spanned more than 500 games and in addition to his tenure at Sunderland he also played for Coventry, Portsmouth, Fulham and Burnley.