Chris Coleman signs two-and-a-half year deal to take over at Sunderland

19 November 2017, 12:36

Championship strugglers Sunderland have appointed Chris Coleman as their new manager on a two-and-a-half year deal.

The 47-year-old, who resigned as Wales manager on Friday, met the Sunderland players on Sunday morning and led the team's training session. He will take charge of his first match at home to Aston Villa on Tuesday night.

Sunderland are rooted to the bottom of the Championship and on Saturday became the first team in English football to fail to win in 20 successive home games in all competitions after drawing 2-2 with Millwall.

Coleman told the club's website: "It's an honour to be appointed the manager of Sunderland AFC and I'm over the moon that the club believes I am the right man.

"The club worked incredibly hard to make sure we were a good fit and to show me the potential that can be achieved here.

"I believe that every person at this football club, every player and every supporter has a part to play in getting us back to where we belong."

Kit Symons will be his assistant at the Stadium of Light, having filled a similar role during Coleman's six-year spell in charge of Wales.

Coleman met with the Welsh FA on November 17 to inform them of his decision to leave having failed to secure Wales' qualification for next year's World Cup finals in Russia.

Speaking on Saturday as he turned on the Christmas lights in Newport, Coleman said: "We are all passionate Welshmen and women so a huge thank you for everything you have done for me and the team over the past six years."

The former Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry boss returns to club management for the first time since 2012, when he left Greek side Athlitiki Enosi Larissa.

Having succeeded the late Gary Speed in 2012 as Wales boss, Coleman enjoyed great success at Euro 2016 where they reached the semi-finals. Gareth Bale and other Welsh players had tried to convince Coleman not to leave.

Relegated from the Premier League last season, Sunderland have been without a boss since Simon Grayson was sacked in October after only 18 games in charge, with caretaker Robbie Stockdale having overseen the last two games.

Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain added: "The football club has conducted a thorough process over the last three weeks to identify the best manager for the job, before and after which Chris was the clear first choice.

"We are delighted that he and Kit Symons, his assistant manager, have joined us, and are now focused on working together to get the football club moving in the right direction."