Thu. Jul 18th, 2024
Michael Beale spent just under a year as manager of Rangers before leaving the club in October

Championship club Sunderland have appointed former Rangers boss Michael Beale as their new head coach.

The 43-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Stadium of Light.

Beale had a brief spell in the Championship with QPR last season before leaving in November 2022 to join the Scottish Premiership giants.

He won 31 of his 43 games in charge of Rangers but was sacked on 1 October after three defeats in their first seven league matches of the campaign.

Beale, who has replaced Tony Mowbray as boss, takes over at Sunderland with the club seventh in the Championship, three points outside the play-off spots, following a 1-0 defeat away at Bristol City.

That loss came after successive wins under caretaker Mike Dodds, who will stay on as assistant head coach.

“We have monitored Michael’s career for some time and we are delighted to have reached an agreement for him to become our new head coach,” sporting director Kristjaan Speakman told the club website.external-link

“He has an excellent and well-founded reputation for developing players and he is an outstanding progressive coach, who is aligned with our playing identity and naturally fits within our structure alongside Mike Dodds and the wider team.”

Mowbray led Sunderland to a sixth-placed finish last season but was sacked in early December after a run of two wins in nine league matches saw them slip down to ninth in the table.

He had spent 15 months in charge of the Black Cats after replacing Alex Neil following the former Norwich and Preston manager’s move to Stoke in August 2022.

Beale back in Championship after rollercoaster year with Rangers

Beale coached in the youth academies of both Chelsea and Liverpool before being appointed as first-team coach at Rangers under Steven Gerrard, with whom he had previously worked alongside at Liverpool.

He helped Rangers win the Scottish league title in 2020-21 and then followed Gerrard to Aston Villa in October 2021.

QPR gave him his first senior managerial role in June 2022 and he guided the club to the top of the Championship in the opening months of last season.

Then Premier League strugglers Wolves approached him to replace Bruno Lage in October 2022 but he turned them down, saying: “I have been all in here and I have asked others to be all in so I can’t be the first person to run away from the ship.”

However, the offer to take over at Ibrox from the sacked Giovanni van Bronckhorst the following month proved too good to turn down.

He made a bright start to life in Glasgow, winning the manager of the month award for December and 13 of his first 14 matches in charge, but was unable to help them rein in Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic and they lost to their fierce rivals in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup and final of the League Cup.

Despite recruiting heavily in the summer, Beale’s Rangers were knocked out of the Champions League in the play-off round by PSV Eindhoven and a 3-1 home defeat by Aberdeen on 30 September was his final game in charge.

His first match as Sunderland boss will be Saturday’s home game against Coventry.

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