Sbragia takes backroom role at Sunderland

The Scot, who replaces Roy Keane last December, will return to a backroom role at The Stadium of Light.

“I’ve had a chat with Niall this week and I think we need a bigger name to carry the club further. I’ve done everything I needed to” said Sbragia.

“I was given the opportunity to manage the club – and I’ve kept them in The Premier League. I would like to have done it better but I’m really pleased we stayed up.”

Sbragia continued: “I’ve loved it. There’s been a lot of pressure – we started so well and maybe got carried away, losing our focus – but I always thought we were good enough to stay in The Premier League.

“I would like to have finished it today with a win but I’m pleased for the players and my staff. We’ve got a foundation and I’ll be thoroughly enjoying seeing Sunderland move up that table.

“I’ll come back in the next couple of days and tidy things up but I’ll enjoy tonight and I’ll look forward to some time on my own reflecting on what’s happened in the last five months.”

“You bet your life he’s staying, he’s got a job for life at this football club,” Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn added to Sky Sports.

“Ricky stood up to be counted when I needed him.

“He was given the job of keeping us in The Premier League – he made it hard after such a good start but he got us there.

“The majority of his coaching years have been spent here and I might just have one of the best people around to help me with player recruitment.

“I’m sure all the fans will raise a glass to him tonight – he’s been superb for us.”