Sunderland have appointed Tony Mowbray as their new manager following the departure of Alex Neil to Stoke City.
Neil departed the club on Sunday to take up his new role at Stoke City following discussions between himself and the Potters with Sunderland’s approval since Friday (26 August).
Sunderland have therefore swept to appoint North-East footballing legend, Mowbray who previously managed their local rival – Middlesbrough, and more recently departed Blackburn Rovers at end of last season upon expiration of his contract.
Mowbray also previously played for Middlesbrough and upon confirmation of his appointment as Sunderland manager, he reflected on his memories of facing the Black Cats as he said: I grew up in the North East and I always remember my experiences at Roker Park with great fondness – the emotion, passion and size of Sunderland AFC.”
The 58 year-old manager also noted Sunderland’s progress in recent seasons amidst two takeovers as he added: “This is a huge opportunity to continue the good work that has taken place over the past two years and I hope the supporters can see that this football club is on its way back.”
Mowbray though is no stranger to club rebuilds following his time at Blackburn as he assured supporters with the following comments: “It is a journey – I’ve just come from Blackburn Rovers and like here, it was a rebuilding process – but we want to win and we will be aggressive.
“The players must understand what they are fighting for because they are the standard-bearers for the city and win, lose or draw, we must ensure those who come to watch us see a team that gives everything in every game.”
Sunderland’s Sporting Director, Kristjaan Speakman added that he and the club hold “absolute clarity in the principles” of their rebuild of the club and belief that Mowbray is the right manager to help guide the club forward.
Speakman also noted Mowbray’s experience in helping clubs develop as he highlighted why the ex Boro boss was selected as the Black Cats’ new manager, in which he said: “We have great admiration for the work that he has undertaken in previous roles and throughout our process, he was able to clearly evidence his alignment to our ambitions.
“He has the personal values that we want to promote and that our supporters will naturally respect, whilst also possessing a strong understanding of the region and the people we represent.
“We have an abundance of enthusiasm, energy and ideas at the Club and I have no doubt that Tony’s influence will go far beyond the field of play.”
Mowbray’s first game as Sunderland manager sees the Black Cats take on Rotherham at Stadium of Light tomorrow evening (31 August), whilst his first away match sees Sunderland visit his former team and local rival – Middlesbrough in Tees-Wear derby on Monday 5 September live on Sky Sports.
Mowbray has signed a two-year contract which will see him in charge of Sunderland until June 2024.