Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Boss in the Dark over His Future; Sbragia in the Dark over His Future

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Boss in the Dark over His Future; Sbragia in the Dark over His Future

Article excerpt

RICKY Sbragia has admitted that keeping Sunderland in the Premier League may not be enough to keep him in his job, writes MARK DOUGLAS.

Defeat of West Brom today would all but rubber-stamp another season of top-flight football for the Black Cats, but Sbragia says he is in the dark about whether he has impressed the board enough since taking over from Roy Keane to ensure the club does not make a change in the summer. And The Journal understands that, should he keep

Sunderland up, Sbragia will mull over his own future after privately expressing reservations about the huge demands the job has placed on his shoulders.

Chairman Niall Quinn has been fulsome in his praise for Sbragia and will consider it 'mission accomplished' if he manages to keep the Black Cats in the domestic game's elite league. But there are clearly discussions to be had between manager and the board when the season is concluded. Sbragia is on record as saying he values his privacy and

Turn to Page 94 admitted this week that he would not have become a manager but for Keane's sudden departure from Sunderland.

Achieving safety would likely buy Sbragia more time if he wanted it - but the Sunderland boss admits that the club are likely to face another couple of years of "struggle" before establishing themselves as a top-flight fixture.

Sbragia says he does enjoy the job - but he also admits it places huge burdens on his time and private life and that losing football games is 'murder'. "I want to keep Sunderland up. Whether that's good enough for the people upstairs is another thing. I can't talk or think about what they're thinking," he said.

"From my point of view, the next three or four years are going to be difficult to be honest. "It's always difficult until you get a foot in the door. "The first four years (in the Premier League) are difficult. You have to chop and change your squad around and bring in better, it's as simple as that. …

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