Black Cats offload Richardson

Sunderland have parted company with reserve team coach Kevin Richardson.

Boss Roy Keane's latest backroom reshuffle has seen the the former Everton and Arsenal star has make way for Ricky Sbragia's return to the Black Cats.

Top sport stories...

- Keane: Kieran injury was a good thing!

- Latest transfer rumours.

- Premier League video highlights.

Sunderland confirmed on Tuesday that Sbragia had rejoined the club, but did not reveal what his role would be.

But Richardson says Sbragia will be assisting with first-team coaching and Neil Bailey taking charge of the reserves, who visit Manchester United tonight.

Richardson told the Echo: "Losing your job is not something nice to happen and not something nice to do to another person.

"I've been in management myself and I know these decisions are difficult. I've had a good three years with the reserves at Sunderland and have enjoyed working with the younger players and the senior lads.

"Roy called me in to say he was making the change with Ricky coming back to the club.

"It's obviously disappointing, but I've been in football long enough to know that these things happen.

"He's gradually brought in his own people and as the man at the top, that's his decision.

"With Ricky coming in, Neil is dropping down to my position. I understand the situation and I've wished the manager the best of luck at Sunderland.

"He's got a good opportunity at a big club and I gather there is money to spend in January so I just wish them all the best."

Richardson first joined Sunderland as youth team coach after ending his 20-year playing career in 2000. But he was soon off to pastures new, becoming assistant manager to Carlton Palmer at Stockport County in 2001.

Mick McCarthy brought Richardson back to Wearside as reserves coach in October 2004 after Jocky Scott's departure to become first team coach at Plymouth Argyle.

Richardson also supported Kevin Ball during his spell as caretaker manager of Sunderland at the end of the 2005-06 campaign.

The 44-year-old Tynesider – who as a player won championship medals with Everton in 1985 and Arsenal in 1989 as well as a string of other domestic and European honours – hopes to get back to work quickly.

"Ideally I will try to find something in the North East, but we'll see what comes up where," he said.

"I'd like to get back involved somewhere sooner rather than later, but I will have to sort out my settlement with Sunderland, which is still ongoing."