Former Sunderland captain Michael Gray has backed the appointment of Gus Poyet as new manager.

Gray trained under Poyet - who was unveiled as the new manager this morning - during a spell at Leeds United.

He told the Sunderland Echo: "I'm excited about the news that Sunderland look set to appoint Poyet - I like him and respect him and I think he can do a good job at the club.

"But it's vital that he is given time.

"To have that many managers in so few years is not healthy for any club.

"And I think that the owner has to appoint a new boss and then stick by him.

"I know that staying in the Premier League is the most important thing and that fact can cause a lot of changes in a lot of clubs - you don't get much time to turn things around in football these days.

"But in Sunderland's case, I think the time really has come to appoint someone you think can take the club forward and then trust them with a longer term contract."

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