Sunderland have confirmed the appointment of Alex Neil as the club’s new head coach on a rolling 12-month contract.
Neil, who will be joined at the Stadium of Light by assistant head coach Martin Canning, oversaw training on Friday before the squad travelled south ahead of Saturday’s game at AFC Wimbledon.
The 40-year-old was sacked by Preston in March last year but had previously guided Norwich to promotion to the Premier League.
Neil said: “It is a privilege to be head coach of Sunderland AFC.
“Everything that I saw from the players this morning made me really confident and gave me belief, so what we now need to do is replicate that on a matchday – when it matters – under scrutiny and under pressure.
“Our task is to try and win as many games as we possibly can and at this moment in time we are focused on this season and this season alone.”
Neil oversaw our final pre-match preparations at the Academy of Light earlier today before finalising his move this evening and he will take charge of his first game tomorrow at Plough Lane.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) February 11, 2022
Neil’s appointment comes after Sunderland failed to finalise a deal to bring primary target Roy Keane back to the club despite several rounds of discussions.
The Black Cats are currently fourth in Sky Bet League One, just two points adrift of the automatic promotion places, although they have played four games more than Wigan in second while leaders Rotherham are a further nine points clear.
They have also lost each of their last three matches, the first a 6-0 thrashing at Bolton that led to Lee Johnson being sacked and the last two under interim boss Mike Dodds to bottom side Doncaster and Cheltenham, who had not won in 11 attempts in the league.
Elsewhere, Derby County have announced they have reached an accord between their former owner Mel Morris and Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson in relation to the Teesside club’s legal claim against the Rams.
Details of the accord were not released, but Derby’s statement said Morris and Gibson had been keen to develop it ahead of Saturday’s game at the Riverside Stadium.
“The claim has clearly been the source of much concern to both sets of fans, and especially those of Derby County,” the statement said.
“The fact that a resolution has been discussed and agreed should be comforting to both sets of supporters.”
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