Kristjaan Speakman explains why Sunderland have appointed Tony Mowbray as head coach

Tony Mowbray has been confirmed as Sunderland’s new boss on a two-year contract.
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Mowbray, who has been out of work since leaving Blackburn Rovers in the summer, oversaw the final stages of preparations for the visit of Rotherham United on Wednesday night and will take his place in the dugout for that game.

Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman said the former West Brom, Middlesbrough and Celtic boss had been able to ‘clearly evidence his alignment to our ambitions’ through the recruitment process.

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“We have absolute clarity in the principles by which we are working and believe Tony is best placed to support our continued growth as a club,” he said.

Tony Mowbray is Sunderland's new head coachTony Mowbray is Sunderland's new head coach
Tony Mowbray is Sunderland's new head coach

"We have great admiration for the work that he has undertaken in previous roles and throughout our process, he was able to clearly evidence his alignment to our ambitions.

"He has the personal values that we want to promote and that our supporters will naturally respect, whilst also possessing a strong understanding of the region and the people we represent.

"We have an abundance of enthusiasm, energy and ideas at the Club and I have no doubt that Tony’s influence will go far beyond the field of play."

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Mowbray said he was confident the club ‘was on its way back’, and said it would be ‘aggressive’ in trying to win in its rebuilding process.

“I grew up in the North East and I always remember my experiences at Roker Park with great fondness – the emotion, passion and size of Sunderland AFC.” he said.

"This is a huge opportunity to continue the good work that has taken place over the past two years and I hope the supporters can see that this football club is on its way back. It is a journey – I’ve just come from Blackburn Rovers and like here, it was a rebuilding process – but we want to win and we will be aggressive.

"The players must understand what they are fighting for because they are the standard-bearers for the city and win, lose or draw, we must ensure those who come to watch us see a team that gives everything in every game.”