Gus Poyet
Poyet named new Sunderland boss. (Reuters)

Sunderland have confirmed the appointment of Gus Poyet as their new head coach on a two year deal following the dismissal of Paolo Di Canio.

The former Brighton boss was originally linked with the post following the dismissal of Martin O'Neill in March this year, but was overlooked in favour of Di Canio. Poyet has now stepped in to fill the void left by the Italian whose tenure at the Stadium of Light lasted just five games into the new season.

"We analysed a wide range of candidates and believe that Gus's track record, experience, commitment and passion make him the right man to take us forward," Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said of the appointment.

"We welcome him to Sunderland."

Former Black Cats defender Kevin Ball was given the role as caretaker manager as the club carefully considered their next option, overseeing games against Manchester United, Liverpool and Peterborough United.

Ball maintained an interest in taking the managerial reins at the club on a full time basis but the club saw fit to appoint former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder Poyet, who has been a free agent since being let go from Brighton in June.

Like his predecessor, Poyet is yet to test himself in the Premier League with his only previous coaching experience in the top flight coming as 12 month stint as Juande Ramos' assistant manager at Tottenham.

The Uruguayan also enjoyed assistant managerial roles at Swindon Town and Leeds United before being appointed Brighton manager in 2009, during a time in which the club were struggling in League One.

The club achieved promotion to the Championship in 2011 under Poyet's steady guidance and came within three games of achieving promotion to the Premier League last season until his side lost in the playoff semi-finals to bitter rivals Crystal Palace.

That loss marked the beginning of the end of Poyet's reign at the Seagulls. Days after the loss to Palace the 45-year-old was suspended by Brighton amid reports the manager had informed the club's hierarchy he had taken them as far as he could.

Poyet has been handed the task of lifting struggling Sunderland from the foot of the table with the club having taken just a single point from their opening seven games of the season.

His first game in charge will be away to Swansea following the international break before the first Tyne-Wear derby of the season when Newcastle visit the Stadium of Light on October 27.