'I wish them the best' - Chris Coleman insists he's not bitter following Wales exit

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Staff Reporter

New Sunderland boss Chris Coleman has insisted he left his job as Wales manager with no bitterness over the difference of opinion which prompted his exit.

The 47-year-old was formally unveiled as the struggling Black Cats' latest manager on Monday morning barely three days after deciding not to renew his contract with the national team, which he guided to the Euro 2016 semi-finals during a hugely successful six-year spell in charge.

However, as he took up the reins on Wearside, it was without regret.

Asked if the Football Association of Wales could have done more to keep him, Coleman replied: "I'm not going to be negative about the Welsh FA. We had great times.

"Like I said, they saw it differently to me. Speaking with the chief executive at Wales, he clearly saw it differently to me, hence that was the end of it for me.

"But I'm not going to drag that out. I have great memories. I'm a fiercely proud Welshman, I wish them the best going forward.

"I absolutely love the players and the staff, adore them and the supporters, the Red Wall. I couldn't ask for any more from any of them, so I am not going to end that on a negative.

"It was what it was, done. It's gone and now I'm here, it's all about Sunderland."

Coleman inherits a club sitting at the foot of the Sky Bet Championship and in severe danger of a second successive relegation.

He will be in the dugout for the first time at Aston Villa on Tuesday evening and, while he knows he has a major fight on his hands, he is ready for it.

The Welshman said: "If you're a football manager, you can go through your career without ever managing a big club. Right, we're bottom of the Championship, there's been negativity surrounding it - it's still Sunderland Football Club, it still has 47,000 fans.

"They may not all be coming at the minute, but they are still there. It's a huge football club and the temptation to be a part of that and experience that and try to make a difference here was just too big for me.

"I'm sure managers have sat here before and thought the same thing - and probably managers after me. I have got the opportunity to manage a big football club, a seriously big football club and I wasn't going to turn that down.

"I know all the challenges here, I know that, I'm under no illusions. But I am super excited. I can't tell you how excited I am.

"It's a big task, a huge challenge and I certainly won't be in a comfort zone up here. But I always say nothing good ever comes from a comfort zone, so I'm looking forward to it."

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