Tony Mowbray speaks out for the first time on being sacked as Sunderland manager, with the club still looking for a successor.
The 60 year old has thanked the ‘inspirational and phenomenal’ Sunderland fanbase during his time at the Black Cats.
Mowbray was sacked by the club nine days ago after a poor run of just two wins in nine matches, leaving them 9th in the Championship table at the time.
Mike Dodds has been put in temporary charge and has had a great stint so far, returning back to winning form, with Sunderland now 6th with 33 points from 21 games played.
STATEMENT RELEASED ON BEHALF OF TONY MOWBRAY:
“After fifteen eventful months my time at Sunderland has come to an end.
“I would like to thank Kyril Louis-Dreyfus for entrusting me to lead such a historic and significant Football Club.
“I believe that I leave the Club in a positive place in terms of both league position and also with a strong and unified dressing room.
“To the players, thank you. You have been a pleasure to work with. You are a special group with humility being a core value within the dressing room. Thank you for embracing our methods and I hope that you enjoyed the journey.
“I am grateful to the senior professionals who acted as role models and mentors for their young team mates and also thankful to the young players who thrived under the style of play.
“To all of the support staff at both the training ground and the stadium, thank you for creating such a positive environment in which the players flourished.
“Finally, I would like to thank the most important people at any football club, the supporters. I will forever be grateful for the amazing support that you gave to the team but also to me personally. As a native Teessider, the warmth that I received from Wearside was truly special. It is a bond that I genuinely appreciate.
“The atmosphere that you created at the Stadium of Light was inspirational and to those of you who travelled in your many thousands supporting the team around the country your support was phenomenal.
“I leave energised and enthusiastic for my next challenge.
“Thank you for the memories.”
Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman commented at the time of his departure: “All at SAFC have thoroughly enjoyed working with Tony and he is quite rightly held in high regard by our players and staff, and our supporters.
“After arriving at an uncertain time, he helped guide us to the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs and played an important role in developing our team. This was a difficult decision to make, but we remain loyal to our ambition and our strategy, and felt that now was the right moment to take this step.
“We are now focused on identifying the right candidate and we will continue to support our coaching team and players throughout the interim period.”
Chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus added: “I would like to place on record my gratitude to Tony for his hard work and commitment to Sunderland, a place where he will always be welcome.
“As custodians of our great club, we believe in our long-term strategy that we hope will ensure sustainability and success for SAFC. Central to that approach is a relentless demand for a high performance culture to be implemented throughout the Club and the development of a strong playing identity that you, our loyal supporters, can all be proud of.
“Your continued support will also be fundamental to that progress and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Stadium of Light throughout the festive period and as we enter 2024.”
FAVOURITES TO BECOME NEW SUNDERLAND MANAGER:
Sky Bet – 14th Dec – 11amWill Still – 4/7Mike Dodds – 5/2Kim Hellberg – 10/1Julien Sablé – 11/1Paul Heckingbottom – 12/1Kevin Muscat – 16/1
Fans took to praise Tony Mowbray, who speaks out for first time on being sacked as Sunderland manager…
@matthewftm02: Soured towards the end in terms of results but no one can deny he’s (at the risk of sounding VERY cliche) one of the truly good men in football. Gave me some of my favourite moments supporting Sunderland over the last 16 years.
@clydon11: One of the best blokes we’ve had at this club. As much as I miss having him about I’m glad he left without it being a sour exit
@DeanoCummings85: underwhelmed when he was appointed but quickly made to eat my words when we saw the style of football a Tony Mowbray managed football team played on the pitch. An absolute breath of fresh air and perfect to nurture a group of young lads. An all round toppa fella. Wish him well
@WSXSAFC: Very classy, i wish him all the best for whatever he does next.
@KrisMonkeyDay: I wrote this man off at the start, he completely and utterly proved me wrong from the start. We played some of the most easy on the eye football I’ve ever seen in 41 years of supporting the club. To him I am grateful for what he did and I wish him all the very best.
@FTM1042: One of the best managers we’ve had at this football club. Can’t remember a manager being sacked and MATCHDAY programme has two pages worth of pictures thanking Tony for the work he’s done just shows you how much he was appreciated by supporters!! 🔴⚪️🐈⬛
@ZakWaters: He will come back to manage an outfit like Huddersfield and win the league. Still not convinced sacking him was the right move
@SimonTuckwell1: What a magnificent human, I wish him the best of luck, ole ole Tony Mowbray 🔴⚪️
@JimmyMackem: He steadied the ship and overachieved whilst also developing our young players. I think it was time to part, but my opinion of him remains high.
@tonywatson54: Genuinely tearing up here, TM was a special coach and a lovely, down to earth guy. Just like to thank him from a lifelong Sunderland supporter for the best, most positive time at our club since Peter Reid.
@AdysundAdy: Top class to the end. He’s just an all round class act. 👏
@jarramakem: 👏👏 a good bloke. Best of luck to him. Hopefully back with a decent job soon.
@alexelliott:Top human beingWill always value his contributionHe stepped in and made it a real pleasure to watch our side playHe showed us all that football is a team sport and we, as supporters, are vital to the club’s successWish him all the best
@garylynchone: Tony Fantastico 🔴⚪️🔴
@M_Keeling: I really love him. He’s such a good man and I think the job he did was vastly underrated and at times under appreciated. There aren’t many mangers that would have turned that squad last season into what it was.
@DavidKe94102477: Pure class as ever. Thankyou Tony.
@__Daley__: Class act, thanks Mogga
@huds8118: My opinion of him when he joined compared to when he left couldn’t be any further apart. Warra bloke
@milburn60: Not many like Tony Mowbray! Integrity, compassion and focus he delivered far more than expected. Fabulous football memories. Class act!
@FulwelI: Great bloke. Wish him nothing but the best!
@Sharon_L_: I just love Tony Mowbray….a true Leader and a humble man! I’ll miss ‘doing the Tony Mowbray’, he gave us many reasons to be proud over these 15 months! Thank you #safc @SunderlandAFC
@AG17__: awwwww what a bloke, such a nice man. really upset now
@janey1000: Lush bloke. Glad he spent time at #safc. I wish there were more Tony’s and fewer arseholes in football
Cheers Tony ❤️ pic.twitter.com/xaZdbPaB7e
— Oluwaseun Bamgboye (@bamgboyeolu) December 14, 2023