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Alex Neil reveals one of the key reasons behind his decision to take over at Sunderland



Sunderland head coach Alex Neil has admitted that the expectancy surrounding the club in terms of securing promotion to the Championship was one of the key reasons why he opted to move to the Stadium of Light earlier this year.

Since being handed over the reins at Sunderland, Neil has managed to oversee some impressive performances in the third-tier.

The Black Cats sealed their place in the play-offs last weekend by beating Morecambe on the final day of the regular campaign.

Nathan Broadhead netted what turned out to be the winning goal for Sunderland in the first-half of this fixture.

Sunderland will now be looking to book a trip to Wembley Stadium by defeating Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-finals of the play-offs.

The Black Cats are set to play in front of their own supporters tomorrow before playing the Owls at Hillsborough on Monday.

Ahead of this fixture, Neil has identified a key reason behind his decision to take over at Sunderland in February.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference for Friday’s showdown with the Owls (as cited by the Sunderland Echo), Neil said: “I took the job knowing the expectancy, I think that was one of the key elements that attracted me to come here was the fact that I like working under pressure and with people expecting you to deliver.

“I think it’s a good environment and brings the best out of you if you like that situation which I do.

“I think the players are used to it now.

“When I walked in the building I remember my first two home games vividly because even a stray pass you could hear your groans, and I was thinking oh ok.

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“Since then we have picked up form, the lads have performed better, we’ve scored goals, we’ve won games and I think we’ve naturally got the crowd onside.

“I think the crowd are desperate for the lads to do well and have given them a really good backing, they come in their droves, and I think the lads have responded to that.

“I don’t think now that is going to be any surprise for us.”

The Verdict

Sunderland’s decision to replace Lee Johnson with Neil could turn out to be a masterstroke if the 40-year-old is able to guide the club to promotion this month.

The Black Cats will fancy their chances of securing a positive result at the Stadium of Light tomorrow as they are currently on a 13 game unbeaten run in the third-tier.

Whereas Wednesday will unquestionably pose a considerable threat to Sunderland, they may be able to emerge victorious in the first-leg of this semi-final showdown if Ross Stewart is firing on all cylinders.

The Black Cats forward has already scored 24 league goals for the club during the current campaign and will be confident in his ability to add to this tally on Friday.

Freelance writer for Football League World. Previously worked for 90min & GiveMeSport.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Alex Neil reveals one of the key reasons behind his decision to take over at Sunderland

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