- POSTED: 08 Oct 2013 15:45
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Sunderland have appointed Gus Poyet as manager on a two-year-contract.
LONDON: Premier League strugglers Sunderland have entrusted Gus Poyet with the responsibility of securing their top-flight survival.
The club on Tuesday announced that they have appointed him as manager on a two-year contract.
The 45-year-old Uruguayan, who previously worked at second-tier Brighton and Hove Albion, succeeds Paolo Di Canio, whose seven-month tenure left the northeast club at the foot of the table.
Di Canio was sacked last month with Kevin Ball placed in caretaker charge and Poyet arrives to find the club six points adrift of safety with only one point from their first seven games.
"I look forward to proving my ability to the fans -- I want them to believe, because we need to stick together," Poyet told the Sunderland website.
"I think the key behind my strong home record at Brighton was the connection with the fans. I can see that here also.
"It's a huge challenge, but one I am excited about and I am grateful for the opportunity to manage in the Premier League."
Sunderland's Texan owner Ellis Short, who conducted a two-week search for Di Canio's successor, said he was convinced he had found the right man for the job.
"We analysed a wide range of candidates and believe that Gus's track record, experience, commitment and passion make him the right man to take us forward," he said. "We welcome him to Sunderland."
Poyet becomes Sunderland's sixth permanent head coach in less than five years and he will also be the first Uruguayan to manage a team in the Premier League.
He first came to England as a player in 1997, joining Chelsea from Real Zaragoza and winning the FA Cup, the now defunct UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup, before spending three years at Tottenham Hotspur.
A goalscoring midfielder, he also played for Uruguay 26 times and was a member of the team that triumphed at the 1995 Copa America.
His managerial experience is limited to his four-year spell at Brighton but during that time he led the south coast club to promotion from third-tier League One in 2011 before guiding them to the Championship play-offs last season.
However, his time at the Amex Stadium ended on a sour note. He was suspended by the club following their play-off semi-final defeat by Crystal Palace and was informed of his dismissal during a live television appearance on the BBC.
He has also worked as a coach at Swindon Town, Leeds United and Spurs.
Poyet will be joined at the Stadium of Light by his former Brighton colleagues Mauricio Taricco and Charlie Oatway, and will work in conjunction with Sunderland director of football Roberto De Fanti.
His first game in charge will be a league game at Swansea City on October 19, followed by a first home game against derby rivals Newcastle United on October 27.