Sunderland today appointed Martin O’Neill as their new manager on a three-year contract.
The 59-year-old former Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa replaces the sacked Steve Bruce – and will officially take charge of the Black Cats on Monday.
O’Neill said: “It’s a very nice feeling to be back in football and to be the manager of Sunderland. It’s a big moment for me.
“I’d heard about what a good club it was but coming here, seeing the stadium and training ground, I’ve been bowled over. It’s absolutely fantastic.
“I hope I can help Sunderland to a very successful period. That’s what I’ve come for and that’s my driving ambition.”
Chairman Ellis Short said: “Martin has as good a managerial pedigree as you could wish to find and has proven over the years to be a very astute, top-level manager.
“During his time at Aston Villa he established the club firmly in the top ten of the Barclays Premier League year-on-year and this is something we are striving to achieve at Sunderland.
“Having spoken with him over the last two days I know he is brimming with enthusiasm and anticipation about the challenge of taking Sunderland forward and I believe he is the perfect choice to deliver the success we all desire.”
O’Neill will be in the stands at Molineux for tomorrow’s Premier League clash with Wolves, however caretaker Eric Black – who was number two to Bruce – takes charge of the team for the game.
* Reaction in tonight’s unmissable, 40-page Football Echo