Short explains Bruce departure
Sunderland chairman Ellis Short has revealed former manager Steve Bruce lost his job because his team had underperformed for too long.
Bruce was relieved of his duties at the Stadium of Light at the end of last month after a 2-1 home defeat by Wigan proved the final straw. However, Short insisted his decision was not a knee-jerk reaction.
Writing in his programme notes ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Blackburn, Short said: "It wasn't specifically the last home game against Wigan that determined we would change our manager, because we outplayed Wigan for most of the game."
He added: "However, once again, things didn't go our way and ultimately we were left to reflect on the fact that, over a long period of time, we have been underperforming.
"We believe the club should be in a better position and consequently the board took the action we believed was necessary for the good of the club."
Short gave the club's fans exactly what they were hoping for when he replaced Bruce with Martin O'Neil.
Short added: "As we looked at the potential candidates for our new manager, Martin O'Neill stood out as the obvious choice - he is a proven winner and an outstanding motivator.
"The fact that he is a boyhood Sunderland supporter enabled him to know that the club should be better than its current position indicates.
"Martin is a top manager and our hope is that he can elevate our team to the level that our supporters deserve.
"I'm not going to make promises, but simply what we would like is consistency, regular top-10 finishes and to cement a place amongst the established members of the Barclays Premier League."