SUNDERLAND have confirmed the appointment of Phil Parkinson as their new manager.

The Stockton-raised 51-year-old, who has signed a two-and-a-half year deal, will take charge of first-team training at the Academy of Light this morning after agreeing to succeed Jack Ross.

Parkinson achieved promotion with Colchester United and Bradford City, and also guided Bolton Wanderers back into the Championship in his most recent managerial role.

He left the University of Bolton Stadium at the end of last season after the Trotters suffered a financial meltdown that almost resulted in their liquidation.

Parkinson, will be joined by Steve Parkin, who will act his assistant, will take charge of Sunderland's weekend game at Wycombe Wanderers.

"It is both a privilege and immense responsibility to be appointed manager of this great club," said Parkinson. "I’ve been in football a long time now, and Sunderland’s immense history, the passion of its fanbase and its wonderful facilities are legendary within the game. 

"It’s now up to me to build on the work of my predecessor and deliver the success the fans are so desperate for. This is a good squad of players, and I relish the challenge of working with them to achieve our goal of promotion from League One."

Sunderland chairman, Stewart Donald, added: "Phil has a proven track record when it comes to achieving promotion and I’m delighted to welcome him to Sunderland.

"During a rigorous recruitment process, it gradually became clear that he was the prime candidate to take the club forward. His CV put him on our short list. His references from within the game set him apart.

"I hope that Sunderland fans will all join me in welcoming him to our historic club, as we look forward to an exciting few months."