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Sunderland AFC appoint Lee Johnson as Head Coach

Sunderland AFC have appointed Lee Johnson as their new Head Coach taking the role over from former boss Phil Parkinson, who left last week.

The club statement published online said: “The former Bristol City manager has signed an initial two-and-a-half-year deal at the Stadium of Light.

“Johnson’s appointment marks a swift return to management for the 39-year-old, who was the longest serving manager in the EFL Championship when his time at Ashton Gate came to an end in July.”

Before arriving his four-and-a-half-year spell at Bristol City, Johnson managed Oldham and Barnsley.

“Speaking to Kristjaan, Jim and the owners, I was absolutely blown away by their plans and dreams for the club.

“I can see so much potential and I see it everywhere. I see it in the league and how we can step up, I see it in the facilities, I see it in the community and the passion the people of Sunderland have, and I also see it in the academy.

“The feeling I got from the ownership group [made this the right club for me].

“There was other interest, but that doesn’t matter now and I want to be successful and to see a brave new Sunderland. I want to be bold in my own decisions, I want to be bold for the team in the way that we play and the philosophy that we play to, but I also want the club to make bold decisions and that is what I’ve truly bought into.

“We have to connect the team and the fan base because that can be really powerful at a club like this”, Johnson commented on his arrival.

Sunderland currently sit ninth in League One and hope Johnson can guide them to promotion into the Championship for the first time since 2018. During his time at Bristol City, Johnson was the longest-serving manager in the Championship and received praise from Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, after being knocked out by the Guardiola’s men in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.

New sporting director Kristjaan Speakman has said, “The role of our Head Coach is going to be critical in delivering the strategy we have collectively established.

“This aligned approach has enabled us to create a profile for the position and following a rigorous process, I felt Lee was the outstanding candidate.

“I believe he understands the complexities of the project and I’m looking forward to supporting him in his role to bring sustained success to the football club.”

Author: James Parker