Kevin Richardson has been forced out of his job as Sunderland reserve-team boss.
Richardson says Ricky Sbragia will be assisting with first-team coaching and Neil Bailey taking charge of the reserves, who visit Manchester United tonight.
Richardson told the Sunderland Echo: "Losing your job is not something nice to happen and not something nice to do to another person.
"I've been in management myself and I know these decisions are difficult. I've had a good three years with the reserves at Sunderland and have enjoyed working with the younger players and the senior lads.
"Roy called me in to say he was making the change with Ricky coming back to the club.
"It's obviously disappointing, but I've been in football long enough to know that these things happen. He's gradually brought in his own people and as the man at the top, that's his decision.
"With Ricky coming in, Neil is dropping down to my position.
"I understand the situation and I've wished the manager the best of luck at Sunderland.
"He's got a good opportunity at a big club and I gather there is money to spend in January so I just wish them all the best."
The 44-year-old Tynesider - who as a player won championship medals with Everton in 1985 and Arsenal in 1989 as well as a string of other domestic and European honours - hopes to get back to work quickly.
"Ideally I will try to find something in the North East, but we'll see what comes up where," he said.
"I'd like to get back involved somewhere sooner rather than later, but I will have to sort out my settlement with Sunderland, which is still ongoing."