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O'Neill wants own backroom staff at Sunderland

Martin O'Neill is insisting on his own backroom staff at Sunderland.

The Daily Mail says O'Neill is ready to sign a three-year deal worth £6million as Sunderland's new manager and could be in the stands at Wolves on Sunday to watch the team in action.

The former Aston Villa boss met Sunderland owner and chairman Ellis Short on Friday to finalise his contract and establish his coaching staff, and on Friday night was flying to the North East to put the finishing touches to the deal with director Niall Quinn.

O'Neill wants to bring in Steve Walford as his assistant but his long-term No 2 and former Nottingham Forest team-mate John Robertson, who has been by O'Neill's side through most of his career, would prefer to take a part-time role.

Nigel Spink was Bruce's goalkeeping coach and he could continue if O'Neill's preferred choice, Seamus McDonagh, is unable to leave his post at Hull City.

Ian Storey-Moore, who was O'Neill's chief scout at Villa and has done scouting work for Sunderland this season, is expected to be given a more official role.

That will leave uncertainty over the futures of Bryan 'Pop' Robson and Steve Staunton.

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