League One news: Wigan Athletic's James McClean refuses to apologise as ex-Sunderland man handed interim role at Leeds United

Sunderland face Charlton Athletic away from home in League One this weekend.

That’s after head coach Alex Neil secured his first win as Sunderland head coach against Wigan Athletic last Saturday.

An early goal from Bailey Wright plus two Ross Stewart penalties were enough to win the game for the Black Cats.

Here, though, we take a look at the main Sunderland related news stories doing the rounds this evening:

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: James McClean of Wigan applauds the fans after the Sky Bet League One match between Cheltenham Town and Wigan Athletic at The Jonny-Rocks Stadium on January 29, 2022 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Ex-Sunderland man appointed interim coach

Former Sunderland coach Andrew Taylor has been appointed the interim coach of Leeds United’s Under-23s.

Taylor left the Stadium of Light last August to take up the role of loans manager at Leeds.

And he now has a new interim role under the new head coach Jesse Marsch, who has confirmed his backroom team.

A Leeds statement read: “Finally, Jesse will be supported by our current Under-23s Head Coach Mark Jackson who will move up to first team duties. Jackson is a popular figure at Elland Road and has overseen the development of various players who are now involved with the first team squad.

“Former Middlesbrough and Cardiff City player Andrew Taylor will step in as interim Under-23 Head Coach. Taylor joined Leeds United from Sunderland in 2021 after spending several years as part of the League One club's first team staff.”

The former Bolton Wanderers and Middlesbrough defender joined Sunderland as first team coach under former manager Phil Parkinson in November 2019.

James McClean refuses to apologise

Former Sunderland star James McClean has refused to apologise following his red card against Fleetwood Town.

McClean was sent off stoppage time at the end of the game following a brawl with Fleetwood's Joe Garner, who was also dismissed.

However, McClean has accused former Wigan striker Garner of trying to punch him.

"On the red card incident, first off I am gutted that I possibly have to serve a three-match ban and not be able to help the team,” said McClean writing on Instagram.

"But it's simple, if anyone on a football pitch, or off it, throws kicks, heads and punches at me (he tried all three) then I will defend myself and I make no apologies for that."

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor