Black Cats stick with Sbragia

Image: Sbragia: Relishing challenge

Sunderland have confirmed the appointment of Ricky Sbragia as the club's new permanent manager on an 18-month contract.

Caretaker delighted to be given job on a full-time basis

Sunderland have confirmed the appointment of Ricky Sbragia as the club's new permanent manager on an 18-month contract. Sbragia has been in caretaker charge at the Stadium of Light since the resignation of Roy Keane at the start of December. He has lifted morale on Wearside and has guided the Black Cats out of the relegation zone after wins over West Brom and Hull City before a 0-0 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day. The former Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers coach has now been given the position on a full-time basis and he is relishing the opportunity.

Unity

"I'm delighted to have been offered the opportunity to manage a club as big as Sunderland and I'm relishing the challenge ahead," Sbragia told the club's official website. "My main priority is moving up the Premier League table and ensuring we have unity and stability at the club. "I've been extremely pleased by the commitment shown by the players to date and the support we have all received from the fans." The appointment was ratified at a board meeting on Saturday morning and Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn is confident the right decision has been made.
Taken aback
Quinn said: "Ricky Sbragia is a thoroughly professional football person. "We have been taken aback by how easily he has slotted into the managerial role and are really heartened by his intelligent approach in dealing with the players and the day-to-day rigours of the job. "Ricky took up the reins when we were at low ebb and has without doubt revitalised the club. He is the unanimous choice of the executive board and will receive every support in his new role. "I'm sure all of our fans, and the players too, will give Ricky their full backing in his first senior management position."

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