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Sunderland's supporters need to get behind Derek McInnes and give him a fair crack of the whip

Some of the negativity and dismay that I've seen and heard from fellow Sunderland supporters in recent days since it became apparent that Derek McInnes would become our new manager has really disappointed me.

Greenock Morton v Aberdeen - Betfred Cup Semi Final Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

None of us are happy that Sunderland finds itself in a bad situation right now as a football club, but a dose of realism is perhaps needed in order for some people to understand why the appointment of a manager like Derek McInnes is, in theory, pretty sound.

Having seen the club go down the tried and tested route on plenty of occasions in recent years it's actually refreshing to be able to see that some foresight has been taken in order to achieve this appointment.

McInnes is a young manager on the up.

Should he opt to join Sunderland he'll be leaving Aberdeen in a far healthier state than he found it - and, for me, it's about time we placed faith in someone that is stepping up a level to come here as opposed to appointing someone bitter about their past failures, going through the motions as they swagger from job to job without really achieving anything or leaving a lasting legacy beyond a wage bill bloated by their awful signings.

Hull City v Sunderland - Premier League
David Moyes' Sunderland legacy? One relegation, a load of ex-Everton players and a squad barely equipped for the Championship.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

McInnes has taken Aberdeen from being a side struggling towards the bottom of the SPL to one contending up near the top with Celtic, reaching and winning cup finals and playing European football.

He's done all of that without barely spending a penny on players. Aberdeen don't even have their own training facility - but he has made it work. Through passion, desire and strong work ethic he and his coaching staff have cultivated a squad of unheralded players and made them a side greater than the sum of their parts.

McInnes is no journeyman - he's a hungry, enthusiastic coach that will no doubt recognise that he's being afforded a tremendous opportunity. That is key.

When David Moyes was named as Sunderland gaffer last summer we were told by Ellis Short that the former Everton boss was the man he had wanted for each of the last five managerial appointments. There was no planning or rational basis behind the decision - our chairman wanted him, and that was that. Moyes came here despite the circumstances of the job not suiting his style or work ethic - regardless of how things were for Moyes at Everton in the beginning, plenty of time had since passed. Moyes was no longer cut out for working with limited resources or with players he felt weren't good enough.

Derek McInnes of West Bromwich Albion celebrates his first goal
Derek McInnes (then of West Brom) celebrates scoring for his side against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light back in 2003.
Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

And it's that which makes me feel optimistic about the arrival of McInnes at Sunderland. We don't want a yes man that will just settle for what they are given, but someone that can wring out every last drop from the resources that they do have is pivotal.

We know - most of the world knows - that the well is almost dry, but that doesn't have to define us as a club. Sunderland is a city built upon the foundations of hard-working and strong people that might not have had very much, but made it work. Somewhere along the way that set of ideals has been lost at this football club and now with a chance for us to put things right it's imperative that the supporters recognise this appointment for what it is - a signal of change, hope and a new beginning.

Will Derek McInnes be a success here? Who knows. We just have to get behind him and ensure that he is given a fair crack of the whip. Writing him off before he has even started in the job is pure lunacy. We're better than that.

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