New Sunderland manager Simon Grayson is determined to give the Black Cats fans a team to be proud of.
The 47-year-old penned a three-year deal last night to replace David Moyes at the Stadium of Light.
Preston boss Grayson had been chief executive Martin Bain’s preferred target since Derek McInnes turned down the job a fortnight ago.
After owner Ellis Short dramatically pulled the plug on takeover talks yesterday, the club moved quickly to bring the former Blackpool, Leeds and Huddersfield boss to the club.
Grayson said: “I am delighted to come to Sunderland, a club with such wonderful history and tradition.
“I’m excited by the opportunity to manage this club and I want to bring the good times back.
“Sunderland are so fortunate to have such tremendous support and I want to give these fans a team they can be proud of.
“I want a group of players full of desire, team spirit and a never-say-die attitude – that’s the very least that we should expect from a Sunderland player.
“The Championship is a demanding league, but, with all the attributes I have highlighted, our aim has to be to get the club back to where it belongs as quickly as possible.
“I can’t wait to get started.”
Long-term assistant Glynn Snodin joins him from Deepdale and the pair will take the players to their pre-season training camp in Austria tomorrow, after meeting them today.
Grayson leaves Preston having stabilised them as mid-table Championship outfit. His win rate over 235 games stands at just over 44%.
Chief executive Bain was impressed by Grayson’s enthusiasm for the job and his track record of team building.
The Scot said: “We warmly welcome Simon to Sunderland,
“From the outset, he demonstrated a tremendous enthusiasm for the job and his desire and ambition to make this football club better shone through.
“Wherever he has managed, he has improved those clubs, which is a clear indication of his ability to build a team on solid foundations and create the right environment for success.
“These are certainly attributes that we as a football club want to embrace as we embark on our own rebuilding process with him at the helm.
“Finally, in welcoming Simon, I would also like to extend my thanks to the chairman and board of Preston North End.
“I know they were understandably keen to retain his services and we thank them for their cooperation during the discussion process.”
Sunderland will spend five days in Austria, returning to face Bury in their opening pre-season friendly next Friday night.