x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Sunderland keep faith with Sbragia

Sunderland have appointed Ricky Sbragia as their permanent manager after a successful spell as caretaker boss at the Premier League club.

Ricky Sbragia said he was delighted with the opportunity to manage Sunderland on a long-term basis.
Ricky Sbragia said he was delighted with the opportunity to manage Sunderland on a long-term basis.

SUNDERLAND // Sunderland have appointed Ricky Sbragia as their permanent manager after a successful month-long spell as caretaker boss of the Premier League club. The Scot, 52, has been handed an 18-month contract by the chairman Niall Quinn as the reward for his four games in charge as caretaker, which have brought two victories, a draw and a single defeat, and that was away to Manchester United. Sbragia succeeds Roy Keane, who resigned earlier this month after 27 months in the belief he had taken the club as far as he could.

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 reigns when we were at low ebb and has without doubt revitalised the club." The appointment was confirmed after a boardroom meeting in the wake of the goalless draw with Blackburn, which followed victories over West Brom and Hull.

Sbragia said he was happy to have been given the opportunity as he and his players prepared to travel to Merseyside for their Premier League clash with Everton. "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."

*With agencies