CHRIS COLEMAN will be confirmed as Sunderland’s new manager within the next 48 hours after stepping down from his role as Wales boss to take over at the Stadium of Light.

Robbie Stockdale will remain in charge of the Black Cats for this afternoon’s home game with Millwall, but Coleman’s appointment will be formally announced in time for him to take control of Tuesday’s trip to Aston Villa.

Coleman, who is due to switch on the Christmas lights in Newport this evening, has held a number of discussions with Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain in the last 48 hours, but had been holding off making a final decision over his future until the Welsh FA held a board meeting to consider his position in charge of the national side.

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That meeting took place yesterday morning, and did not result in an agreement that might have led to Coleman remaining in charge of Wales. As a result, he informed Bain of his desire to take over at the Stadium of Light.

He will become Sunderland’s ninth permanent manager in the last six years, and inherit a side that is currently sitting at the foot of the Championship table. If they fail to beat Millwalll today, they will set a new record for failing to win in 20 consecutive home matches in all competitions.

Nevertheless, Coleman feels the Black Cats boast considerable potential, and is understood to have received assurances from both Bain and Ellis Short about the level of support he will receive as he looks to rebuild.

His predecessor, Simon Grayson, was only able to spend £1.25m on ten players during the summer, but Coleman will hope to have more funds than that available when the transfer window reopens at the turn of the year.

Earlier this week, he was speaking about the possibility of moving abroad to land a job at a ‘Champions League club’, and he was one of the candidates Leicester City considered prior to appointing Claude Puel earlier this season.

However, he has always maintained he would like to take on a ‘project’ if he was to return to club management, and clearly feels he is capable of stopping the rot at Sunderland in order to begin the process of leading the club back to the Premier League.

He is set to more than double the wages he was earning with Wales, and is understood to have been offered a series of performance-related bonuses as part of his package.

His previous club experience in England came with Fulham and Coventry, and he led the former into the top half of the top-flight during his first season in charge at Craven Cottage. He has also managed in Spain, with Real Sociedad, and Greece, with AEL, but his greatest achievement came on the international stage as he ended Wales’ 58-year wait for an appearance at a major tournament by qualifying for Euro 2016.

He took Wales to the semi-finals in France, but suffered disappointment last month when he was unable to secure a place at next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.

His contract expired at the end of Wales’ qualifying campaign, and while the Welsh FA had been keen to keep him, along with the vast majority of his squad, there were ultimately too many issues to be overcome.

Wales’ loss is Sunderland’s gain, and a recruitment process that looked to have been stalling has now ended in a considerable coup.

Bain’s lengthy process of due diligence saw him assess the credentials of Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill and Paul Heckingbottom, but neither was formally offered the manager’s role, with Coleman’s name always hovering in the background. However, the 47-year-old’s contractual situation meant Sunderland were only able to make their move in the last couple of days.

News of his appointment will help transform the mood at the Stadium of Light this afternoon as Sunderland look to avoid an unwanted piece of history.  Having recorded their 19th successive home game without a victory when they drew 3-3 with Bolton in the match that preceded Grayson’s dismissal, they will carve out a place in the record books for all the wrong reasons if they do not claim all three points today.

While Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Dagenham & Redbridge have all gone 19 games without a victory, no one has made it to 20 in a row in the history of the Football League.

Sunderland’s players will have to handle the burden of history this afternoon, as well as trying to lift confidence levels that are understandably low, but while some of their recent performances might suggest otherwise, Stockdale remains confident his players are strong enough to cope.

“I’m sure they are,” said the caretaker, who will have to wait to see whether he forms part of Coleman’s coaching staff. “We touched on it before the last game – I think to play in the North-East, and to play in front of the fans we’ve got, and they’ve got up the road (at Newcastle) and down the road (at Middlesbrough), it takes a big character to do that.

“You have to stick your chest out and walk on the pitch with the mindset, ‘I’m going to show people what I’m about today’. That’s what they expect and demand, and they’re quite right to do that. Any players who goes out onto the pitch to face Millwall will have that ringing in their ears from myself and the rest of the staff. It’s got to change at some point, let’s make sure it’s today.”

Stockdale will be without injured duo Billy Jones and Lamine Kone, and a family bereavement means Didier Ndong is unlikely to be involved. Duncan Watmore should start though after recovering from the injury that kept him out of the Middlesbrough game, and Tyias Browining is also available after returning to full training.