Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quinn Explains Sbragia Choice

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quinn Explains Sbragia Choice

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Edwards

NIALL Quinn has decided to publicly explain his reasons for appointing Ricky Sbragia as Sunderland manager despite interest from a number of higher profile candidates.

The Black Cats were widely expected to appoint former Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce, who was out of the work at the time and desperate to take the job. But the board instead elected to promote from within, with Quinn indicating that Sbragia's natural affinity to the club was a major factor in his thinking.

Although Sbragia, who had been reserve team manager under former boss Roy Keane, had done well in a caretaker role, the decision to offer him the job permanently still caught many people by surprise.

But Quinn is confident the former member of Allardyce's backroom team at Bolton is the right man for the job after revealing most of those who had applied for the vacancy had no experience of managing in the Premier League.

"This was a decision reached by the Executive Board after we had looked at the entire range of candidates over a two to three-week period and on what we were seeing day-to-day from Ricky and his staff," said Quinn, who is aware the global economic downturn has had an impact on the club's key financial backers in Ireland.

"You'll have read there were lots of applicants for the job, but there were very few with Premier League experience. We had people who had won league titles in the Far East, South America and other far-flung places, but we felt that was a risk too far."

Quinn also admitted that while Sbragia - who has won three out of six games since he succeeded Keane - was publicly keen to play down his interest in taking on the manager's job full time, he was giving a rather different impression behind the scenes.

Indeed, after the star quality sprinkled on the club during Keane's high-profile stint in the manager's chair, it seems the board may have made a deliberate decision to seek a less glamorous appointment. …

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