As far as impressive months go, being appointed a Premier League manager after just four games in a caretaker role certainly will have topped off a remarkable December for Ricky Sbragia and Sunderland.
The 52-year-old Scot was handed the temporary role after Roy Keane walked away from the Stadium of Light on December 4th and has impressed with his apparent natural talent for the position.
He was handed the job on an 18-month contract after yesterday’s 0-0 draw at home to Blackburn, part of the recent run that saw Sunderland take seven points from a possible 12 and lifted the Black Cats out of the relegation zone into 14th place.
Sunderland’s decision comes after weeks of speculation as to who would become their next boss, with Sbragia becoming the favourite as he racked up the Premiership points.
Speaking on Saturday after his appointment, he said: “I’m delighted to have been offered the opportunity to manage a club as big as Sunderland and I’m relishing the challenge ahead. My main priority is moving up the Premier League table and ensuring we have unity and stability at the club.”
And Sunderland Chairman, Niall Quinn was full of praise for his new employee: “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.
“He is the unanimous choice of the executive board and will receive every support in his new role. The ownership of the club have also fully endorsed the appointment.”
Sunderland Chairman, Niall Quinn
Now it’s just a question of whether the new manager can extend the fine run of results that got him the job and keep Sunderland clear of relegation worries.
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