OWNER Ellis Short has paid tribute to caretaker boss Kevin Ball after opting for Gus Poyet as Sunderland’s new head coach.
Ball took charge of three first-team games after succeeding the sacked Paolo Di Canio at the helm, with Sunderland showing signs of improvement in each of them, despite suffering defeats to Liverpool and Manchester United.
The former Sunderland skipper was keen to take the reins on a permanent basis, but after talks over the weekend, Poyet has been appointed on a two-year deal.
Short said: “I would like to thank Kevin, along with Robbie Stockdale, Mark Prudhoe and Scott Pearce, who stepped in at a moment’s notice in what was a very difficult situation.
“Without any hesitation, they gave 100 per cent to the cause.
“As usual, Kevin gave his all for the benefit of our club and we are very grateful to him for his ongoing commitment.”
Ball has returned to his role as Sunderland Under-21 coach and took charge of the development squad at Aston Villa last night.