Sunderland appoint former Norwich boss Alex Neil as new manager after Roy Keane snubbed chance of taking charge of Black Cats for a second time
- Sunderland confirmed the appointment of Alex Neil on Friday night
- Former Norwich and Preston manager replaces Lee Johnson at Stadium of Light
- Johnson was sacked on January 29 after Sunderland lost 6-0 to Bolton
- Roy Keane turned down chance to take over the Sunderland job on Thursday
Sunderland have appointed Alex Neil as head coach on a 12-month rolling 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.
Former Norwich City and Preston North End boss Alex Neil is the new Sunderland manager
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.’
The Scotsman has signed a 12-month rolling contract at the Stadium of Light
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.