Howard Wilkinson brands dire Sunderland spell as the 'worst mistake' of his managerial career

Former Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson says that his time on Wearside was the 'worst mistake' of his career.

By Mark Donnelly
Thursday, 21 March, 2019, 07:22
Howard Wilkinson says his time at Sunderland was his 'worst mistake'

The former England caretaker manager spent five months in charge at the Stadium of Light after a glittering managerial career which saw him lead Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday, among others.

But he was unable to produce the goods on Wearside, lasting just five months at Sunderland before being sacked - with the Black Cats left struggling in the Premier League.

Wilkinson, along with assistant Steve Cotterill oversaw just four triumphs during their time in the North East with only two of those coming in the league.

And the 75-year-old has now spoken out on his time at Sunderland, claiming his failure to properly research the job meant taking it proved to be a big mistake.

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"I made some good decisions but I made as many mistakes," he admitted, speaking to the Daily Mail."Sunderland was the worst I ever made because I made it for the wrong reasons, because of a problem that had developed at the FA. I didn't do my usual homework.

"I talked to them on Thursday night, said yes and was there on Tuesday morning.

"I made all the mistakes I hadn't made before."

Wilkinson departed in March 2003, with Sunderland going on to finish the Premier League campaign with just 19 points - which at the time was a top-flight record for the lowest ever points haul.