Niall Quinn: Gus Poyet the 'right fit' as Sunderland manager

Former Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has praised the choice of Gus Poyet as manager but admitted he would not have considered him for the position.

Quinn became chairman at the Stadium of Light in 2006 and was replaced by owner Ellis Short five years later.

He seems to have a real thirst and vitality to make it work, buying into the region like I did when I first went there

Niall Quinn on Gus Poyet

"I don't know Gus, but from outside I really like him and I think it's the right fit," Quinn told BBC Look North.

"But I have to admit, if I was still chairman I don't think he'd have hit my radar so credit to Ellis for that."

In 2006, as leader of the Ireland-based Drumaville Consortium, Quinn fronted the takeover over of a club he had served as a player from 1996 to 2002.

He appointed Roy Keane as manager and the club won the Championship title, but Keane left in 2008 and Ricky Sbragia took charge until the end of the season, before Steve Bruce was recruited from Wigan.

When Martin O'Neill became boss in December 2011, Quinn was no longer chairman but director of international development.

Niall Quinn's Sunderland career

  • August 1996 - signs from Man City for £1.3m
  • October 2002 - retires after scoring 71 goals in 222 appearances
  • July 2006 - leads the Drumaville Consortium's takeover and becomes chairman
  • October 2011 - steps down as chairman and becomes the club's director of international development
  • February 2012 - leaves the Stadium of Light

Since then, Paolo Di Canio has come and gone after a turbulent seven months in charge.

"When I left the club I did feel Martin was the right man for the job and I'm puzzled as to why it just did not work out," Quinn continued.

"And, as has been publicised, the Di Canio spell was a debacle in many respects. Now Gus Poyet is turning it round."

Poyet's Sunderland lost 4-0 to Swansea in his first game as manager but since then have experienced an upturn in form.

They won the Wear-Tyne derby against Newcastle and responded to a 1-0 defeat at Hull by beating Southampton in the League Cup and Manchester City in the Premier League.

"He seems to have a real thirst and vitality to make it work, buying into the region like I did when I first went there," Quinn said.

"To take over a team down at the bottom of the Premier League, supposedly doomed to relegation and have them playing some beautiful football against Man City tells me something fantastic is going on in that dressing room."