Belfast Telegraph

I'm lucky to be handed chance to revive Sunderland, says Coleman

 

By Damien Spellman

Chris Coleman considers himself "lucky" to have been offered the Sunderland job despite inheriting a club engaged in a desperate fight to avoid relegation.

Eyebrows were raised when the 47-year-old, who guided Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, accepted a post which has ultimately defeated the likes of Martin O'Neill, Dick Advocaat and David Moyes in recent years.

But despite his profile having risen as a result of his success with his national team, Coleman insists he was not tempted to wait for a Premier League club after deciding the time to quit the Wales post had come.

"I said when I took my last job that the challenge was tough because of the circumstances, replacing my friend Speeds (Gary Speed)", Coleman said yesterday.

"The challenges in that job were completely different. This is the biggest club I've ever managed, possibly the biggest club I'm ever likely to manage, so it's a huge challenge.

"Many managers go throughout their career without managing a Sunderland, regardless of where it is. I'm lucky to sit here and be in charge of this club.

"Yes, we've got to push forward. It's a massive challenge, but one I'm ready for, totally committed to and excited about."

Coleman's comments came as news of Tony Pulis' exit from West Brom was announced, creating a new vacancy for which he would undoubtedly have been considered if still available.

However, Coleman, who will send his side into Championship battle with Aston Villa tonight, said: "If a Premier League job had come up, it would have been with a struggling club. There are not many Premier League clubs as big as Sunderland with the stadium they have.

"People are saying they're surprised I've gone here. Why? Three or four years ago, I would never have got this job. I had a good time with Wales and I'm deemed fit to get a job like this. I'm absolutely thrilled."

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