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Sunday 04 December 2011

O'Neill takes charge at Sunderland

Former Aston Villa boss signs three-year contract at Stadium of Light

Martin O'Neill guided Aston Villa to three successive sixth-place League finishes

Martin O'Neill has been confirmed as the new manager of Sunderland, taking over from Steve Bruce on a three-year contract.

The 59-year-old, who has previously managed Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa, is expected to watch his new team from the stands as they visit Stoke ahead of his job officially starting on Monday.

O'Neill is vastly experienced and has a strong reputation in the game, with his most recent achievement being to steer Aston Villa to three successive sixth-place finishes in the Barclays Premier League between 2008 and 2010.

"I hope I can help Sunderland to a very successful period - that's what I've come for"
- Martin O'Neill

He enjoyed successful spells at Leicester City and Celtic - winning domestic honours and securing European qualification with both.

"It's a very nice feeling to be back in football and to be the manager of Sunderland. It's a big moment for me," said O'Neill.

"I'd heard about what a good club it was but coming here, seeing the stadium and training ground, I've been bowled over. It's absolutely fantastic.

"I hope I can help Sunderland to a very successful period. That's what I've come for and that's my driving ambition."

Prior to his spell at Villa, O'Neill spent five years at Celtic, winning three SPL titles, three Scottish Cups and a League Cup, as well as taking the Bhoys to the 2003 UEFA Cup Final.

Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said: "Martin has as good a managerial pedigree as you could wish to find."

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Key Points

  • Martin O'Neill signs three-year contract at Sunderland
  • Has previously managed Aston Villa, Celitc and Leicester
  • Will be in stands for Sunday's match at Wolves