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Former United captain backed for Sunderland job

Michael Gray suggests Gary Neville for the manager's post

By | 23rd September 2013

Former Sunderland captain Michael Gray has backed Manchester United great Gary Neville for the vacant manager’s position at the Stadium of Light following the club’s decision to sack Italian boss Paolo Di Canio. Di Canio enjoyed just 13 matches in charge of the Black Cats, but found his position under fire after a dismal start to the new Premier League campaign. Sunderland currently sits at the bottom of the Premier League table after five matches, with just one point after a draw and four losses.

Gray’s backing of Neville has come as a surprise to many, as the former Manchester United captain doesn’t have any managerial experience. The former right back is currently involved in the England coaching setup under manager Roy Hodgson, but spends most of his time as a pundit for Sky Sports. Gray, however, believes that Neville’s enthusiasm and fresh perspective could bring new life to the Stadium of Light.

“We need stability at Sunderland now,” Gray told Hawksbee and Jacobs on talkSPORT. “There was Martin O’Neill, who didn’t get that long at the club, and now we’re talking about Paolo Di Canio, who has lost his job after just 13 games.

“Let’s have somebody who is going to be in charge for two or three seasons, whether that’s Di Matteo, Gus Poyet or even someone like Gary Neville. He’s fresh, enthusiastic, he’s been a part of the England squad, so why not have someone like him?”

Sunderland coach Kevin Ball will take the reins for tomorrow night’s Capital One Cup match against Peterborough United, though the club have moved to assure fans that they will move quickly to find a successor for Di Canio.

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