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Sunderland boss Alex Neil provides update on his Stadium of Light future with key talks planned

Alex Neil will hold talks with Sunderland’s hierarchy next week and has made clear that he wants to lead the club into the Championship campaign.

By Phil Smith
Sunday, 22nd May 2022, 8:31 am

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Neil extended his team’s unbeaten run to seventeen with a 2-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers in the play-off final at Wembley, with goals from Elliot Embleton and Ross Stewart proving the difference.

The Black Cats head coach has warned that it is a significant step up to the next level and though he is optimistic about the future, he will seek assurances from the club about their ambition.

Speaking after the win at Wembley, he said: “Listen, there's a lot of discussions to take place between me and the hierarchy and the owners, all that sort of stuff.

Sunderland boss Alex Neil

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“They'll take place in the next couple of days.

“I know I've only been here a short period of time but the bond, see when you create a moment in time like we've been able to do today, that will never dissipate.

“What you create with fans, players, staff, it never dissipates, never.

“Whatever happens next, happens next.

“I'm not suggesting anything other than I want to be at Sunderland, though. I want to be here, I want to take it forward.

“There's massive scope for us [to progress] but you need to understand that you're going up to a new level. There's a lot of hard work at that level, it has teams coming down with parachute payments, guys on a lot money scoring 40 goals.

“It's a tough, tough level, so we just need to sit down and have a talk about what we need to do next.:

Asked if he would be seeking assurances before commiting to the new campaign, he said: “It was easy for me coming here because I felt that with the squad, I could do the job.

“I walked in the door and it was, 'here's the squad, win games'. I said, 'no problem'. When transfer windows up, when you're going up to a new level, it's very different.

“There's got to be work, investment, different facets that can make you competitive.

“If you're doing a job, you want the tools and I'm no different.

“That's where we're at.”

Neil reflected on his team’s excellent performance at Wembley and spoke of his pride in what they had achieved.

"When you come to a club like this, people love the fallen giant stuff, to stick the boot in.

"It was such a challenge for us. I’ve always had confidence that I could come to a big club and do the job. But to be brutally honest, you can only ever do with it the backing of the fans, who have been incredible, and with really good players.

"Listen, I'm never one to be dancing around or any of that.

"People think I'm miserable, I'm not, I'm just content.

“I'm extremely satisfied that I've managed to deliver for people who it really, really matters to.

"That for me is the most important thing, because it's been tough at this club for the last few years.