Alex Neil 'satisfied' as Sunderland end 35-year play-off curse to win Championship promotion

Alex Neil has only been in charge of Sunderland for 18 games, but he has already become a cult hero after successfully guiding the club through the League One play-offs.

Sunderland will return to the Championship after spending three long seasons down in the third tier of English football. 

The Black Cats sealed their promotion with a 2-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers in the League One play-off final - their first successful play-off campaign in seven attempts.

A crowd of over 72,000 attended the match at Wembley, with over 46,000 making their way from Sunderland.

Looking back at the achievement, Neil said: "When you come to a club like Sunderland, people love a fallen giant and love to stick the boot in.

"It was such a challenge for me to come here because this club has hoovered up managers over the last four years, but I have always had confidence I could go to a big club.

"I'm not the one dancing around, people think I'm miserable but I'm not, I'm content. I'm extremely satisfied I have been able to deliver so much to so many people that it matters to and that for me is the most important thing, because it has been tough for this club for a few years.

"The team-talk today was talking about moments in your career, this is your moment in time, you could be a hero. For Sunderland fans, this team they will be heroes and they will be remembered forever and I'm so, so pleased for them.

"It has been a really good day for us. That is the most pleasing thing for me that you could imagine."

Elliot Embleton and Ross Stewart scored the winning goals as Sunderland ended their 35-year losing run in the play-offs.

Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth

Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth had no complaints with the result, saying: "I am gutted for the boys but I'm going to say we were beaten by the better team today. I'm not going to say we were unjustly done.

"They definitely had the spoils early on and got the goal, then the game was very close.

"The second goal really killed it off, that was a sucker punch we took. We have played better than we did today and unfortunately on the big occasion Sunderland were the better team.

"We have probably got away with that a few times this season, but today we have to take that on the chin and regroup for next year.

"We have got the best squad I have ever had at the club, we will build resilience from this. I am so proud we amassed 83 points in League One. If we can do that again next season we will be fine."

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