Sportsdesk | October 9, 2013
Premier League strugglers Sunderland have entrusted Poyet with the responsibility of securing their top-flight survival, announcing on Wednesday his appointment on a two-year contract.
The 45-year-old Uruguayan previously worked at second-tier Brighton & Hove Albion and succeeds Paolo Di Canio, whose seven-month tenure left the north-east club at the foot of the table. He first came to England as a player in 1997, joining Chelsea from Real Zaragoza and winning the FA Cup, the defunct Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup, and the Uefa Super Cup, before spending three years at Tottenham Hotspur. His managerial experience is limited to his four-year spell at Brighton, but during that time he led the south coast club to promotion from third-tier League One in 2011 before guiding them to the Championship play-offs last season.
Di Canio was sacked last month with Kevin Ball placed in caretaker charge. Poyet arrives to find the club six points adrift of safety with only one point from their first seven games. “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 Sunderland’s Texan owner Ellis Short.
Poyet becomes Sunderland’s sixth permanent head coach in less than five years.
His time at Brighton ended on a sour note. He was suspended by the club following their play-off semi-final defeat by Crystal Palace and was informed of his dismissal during a live appearance on the BBC. His first game in charge will be a league game at Swansea City on October 19, followed by a first home game against derby rivals Newcastle United on October 27.