Gus Poyet: Sunderland name Uruguayan as head coach

Former Brighton boss Gus Poyet has been named as Sunderland head coach on a two-year deal.

The Black Cats lie bottom of the Premier League and sacked Paolo Di Canio in September after only 13 games.

"I look forward to proving my ability to the fans - I want them to believe because we need to stick together," Poyet, 45, told the club website.

He will be joined by his Brighton backroom team of Mauricio Taricco and Charlie Oatway.

"I think the key behind my strong home record at Brighton was the connection with the fans - I can see that here," added Poyet, who was dismissed by the Seagulls in June.

"It's a huge challenge but one I am excited about and I am grateful for the opportunity to manage in the Premier League."

The former Uruguay international becomes Sunderland's sixth manager in five years.

"We analysed a wide range of candidates and believe that Gus's track record, experience, commitment and passion make him the right man to take us forward," said chairman Ellis Short.

Sunderland's senior professional development coach Kevin Ball had been in temporary charge of the club since Di Canio was relieved of his position following a player revolt at the club.

Ball, 48, had asked to be considered for the job, but said following the Wearside club's 2-1 defeat by Manchester United on Saturday he did not expect to be doing another post-match news conference any time soon.

Ex-Chelsea and Tottenham player Poyet, who was capped 26 times by his country, started his coaching career in England in 2006 as assistant to Dennis Wise at Swindon Town then Leeds United.

He joined Spurs as first-team coach after one year at Elland Road, later becoming assistant manager to Juande Ramos.

In 2009, he was appointed manager at Brighton, leading the south coast club to promotion from League One then taking them to last season's Championship play-off semi-final, where they were beaten by eventual winners Crystal Palace.

He was suspended by Brighton in May after an internal investigation and disciplinary hearing and sacked a month later for gross misconduct.

The full reasons for his sacking have not been revealed by either party, with Brighton saying the matter would stay confidential "to ensure and maintain confidentiality and dignity" after the former Chelsea midfielder's unsuccessful appeal against his dismissal.

He said in August he was taking legal action against Brighton over the decision to dismiss him.

Poyet, who has no experience of management in the top flight, made no secret of his interest in the job at the Stadium of Light, and recently said: "I planned that, over the first matches of this season, I would pay a lot of attention to the teams I thought could be in trouble.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Gabbiadini backs Poyet appointment

"Of course, I watch Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester, but there was a group of teams who, if they didn't start well, I thought I could have a chance.

"I was watching Sunderland a lot. People were talking a lot about them in the summer because of Paolo and how many new players they had, so I have seen quite a lot of them."

Poyet will be the fourth manager to have worked under owner and chairman Short, since the American businessman assumed 100% control of the club in 2009.

Steve Bruce was sacked in November 2011 after two wins in the first 13 league games of that season, before successor Martin O'Neill suffered the same fate last March, with the Black Cats a point above the relegation zone.

Di Canio replaced the Northern Irishman and helped Sunderland to wins over Newcastle and Everton, although the side failed to win any of their last three fixtures, finishing the season in 17th.

The Italian manager spent £19m in the summer, but was sacked with the club bottom having picked up one point from the first five league games during the 2013-14 campaign.

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you:

For more ideas, information and inspiration, visit bbc.co.uk/getinspired