Mick McCarthy has been unveiled as the new manager of Sunderland.

The former Republic of Ireland boss succeeds Howard Wilkinson, who was sacked on Monday after just two wins from 20 games with the Wearsiders, who are seven points adrift of Premiership safety.

McCarthy will take charge of his first ever Premiership game when fellow strugglers Bolton travel to the Stadium of Light at the weekend.

"I'm excited to be joining Sunderland and am up for the challenge ahead," McCarthy told the club's official website.

"In the short term we have nine remaining games this season and, of course, I will be concentrating on lifting the players to get the best possible results in these.

"I'm also excited about the long-term. This is a great club and it deserves success."

Sunderland vice-chairman John Fickling said: "It has been a difficult period for the club and its supporters but we're delighted to have secured the services of Mick McCarthy who is well respected in the world of football.

"We have made this change now because we feel it is in the best interests of the club and its supporters.

"It was important that we acted swiftly to secure the services of a manager who would undoubtedly have been pursued by several clubs during the summer months and by appointing Mick now, we are giving him the opportunity to get to know the players and the club and form a long-term development strategy for the summer and beyond.

"This decision is not about the last nine games or our Premiership survival - although this is important. It has been taken for the long term.

"We believe that today's appointment will be a crucial turning point and that Mick will halt the club's decline and revive our fortunes on the pitch.

"I hope all supporters will join me in welcoming Mick to Sunderland and get behind him and the team."

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