Sbragia steps down

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Ricky Sbragia stood down as manager of Sunderland after the Wearside club safeguarded their place in the Barclays Premier League.

The Black Cats were beaten 3-2 by Chelsea at the Stadium of Light, but they survived as north-east rivals Newcastle and Middlesbrough also lost and went down.

Sbragia told Sky Sports: "I've had a chat with Niall (chairman, Quinn) this week and I think we need a bigger name to carry the club further. I've done everything I needed to."

He added: "I was given the opportunity to manage the club - and I've kept them in the Premier League. I would like to have done it better but I'm really pleased we stayed up."

Sbragia, who took over following the resignation of Roy Keane in November, continued: "I've loved it.

"There's been a lot of pressure - we started so well and maybe got carried away, losing our focus - but I always thought we were good enough to stay in the Premier League.

"I would like to have finished it today with a win but I'm pleased for the players and my staff. We've got a foundation and I'll be thoroughly enjoying seeing Sunderland move up that table.

"I'll come back in the next couple of days and tidy things up but I'll enjoy tonight and I'll look forward to some time on my own reflecting on what's happened in the last five months."

Goals from Nicolas Anelka, Salomon Kalou and Ashley Cole gave Chelsea victroy in Guus Hiddink's final game in charge with Kieran Richardson and Kenwyne Jones replying for Sunderland.

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Ashley Cole
Nicolas Anelka
Salomon Kalou
Kenwyne Jones
Premier League
Roy Keane
Kieran Richardson

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