Sky presenter David Jones involved in Sunderland decision not to hire Roy Keane

Presenter David Jones was involved in the decision not to appoint Sky Sports colleague Roy Keane as Sunderland boss.

Jones, who is in the hotseat on Super Sunday and Monday Night Football shows, has expressed his disappointment at how the managerial search was played out in a public manner. The Sunderland hierarchy sacked Lee Johnson following a humiliating 6-0 defeat at Bolton.

The Black Cats were third in League One at the time in January, just two points behind leaders Rotherham. However, the board, which includes Jones as a non-executive director, felt that an immediate change was needed in order to maintain a push for promotion.

The decision was then made to appoint former Norwich City and Preston North End boss Alex Neil ahead of Keane who was a favourite for the role, but Jones says the club are happy with the decision. "I was really disappointed with how (the managerial search) was played out so publicly because that didn’t help us in any shape or form,” he told The Athletic.

"It held us back in being able to make a quick appointment in my view, because of how it was played out in the media. We came to a unanimous decision and we’re very happy with our choice."

Neil steered Sunderland into the League One play-offs having secured a fifth-place finish in the table. That set up a close semi-final against Sheffield Wednesday, which the Wearside team won 2-1 on aggregate over two legs.

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Now, Neil's side will walk out at Wembley Stadium this afternoon (May 21) as they look to earn a return to the Championship. Speaking on how he juggles the emotion with his presenting duties, Jones said: "Whatever happens at Wembley I’ll have to deal with that, put it in a little box and then it’s fully focused on our final day with Super Sunday.

"The title could be headed one of two directions, one of two teams will be getting relegated and there might even be a twist in the Champions League places. It’s been a long season, full-on.

"Throw in the stresses of Sunderland’s play-off campaign and come Sunday night I might break my drinks ban that’s been self-enforced for a few weeks. It might need to be something strong, either way."

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