“For the first time in my life I think is time for me to write this letter to you, the fans.
“When I had the opportunity to become the head coach of Sunderland AFC, I just closed my eyes and remember me sitting at the away dressing room at the Stadium of Light at half time, 4-0 down, Sunderland 4 Chelsea 0, incredible atmosphere, one of the best I ever felt, so the decision was easy, yes I would love the possibility of coaching Sunderland with those fans. Luckily I got the job.
“I was brought into the club to stay in the Premier League first and most, then get stability and then progress with an identity in our game.
“The first goal was the most difficult task of my life but we not only stayed up in a miraculous way, we went to Wembley for the first time in years, plus successful games against our biggest rivals and enjoyed some incredible victories away from home. What we achieved last year was achieved by all of us together: club (chairman, directors, staff and players) and fans, nobody and I mean nobody from outside helped us a bit, it was only us together.
“Then my second aim was to achieve stability, progression and then slowly start bringing a special way of playing football to make you very proud of our team. This takes time, but even if the aim is clear during the process, we need to keep competing and winning games somehow.
“During my career as a player, coach or manager, I have always had a fantastic relationship with the fans, from my time in Uruguay going through every team in Europe, always the relationship was strong, one of mutual respect and understanding, I showed from inside or from outside the pitch, my commitment, passion and dedication in achieving what every club deserved.
“Of course I went through good and bad times, successful and not so good ones, winning or losing finals, but I left every single club having a recognition from the fans for my honesty, passion and professional work.
“So let’s make sure that we don’t let anyone to break our relationship, I promise you that I care and want to win as much as you do and no one thinks more time every day about the team than I do, so I invite all of you to stay positive, to be strong, closer to each other and keep believing in what we started together last year, working harder to make it better this season.
“To finish I would like to clarify once more: the main responsible of the results of our team is me, I always said it and I will always accept my responsibility.
“I am really looking forward to see the Stadium of Light packed on Saturday, pushing the team to what could be a very important victory.
“Thank you and regards to all.”
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