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Tuesday, 8 October, 2002, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Cram salutes Reid
Peter Reid (left) and Adrian Heath feel the strain on the Sunderland bench.
Reid (left) and his staff came under intense pressure
Sunderland fan Steve Cram has paid tribute to Peter Reid's achievements at the club.

Reid was sacked by Sunderland on Monday after seven years in the hotseat at the Stadium of Light.

The team are languishing in 17th place in the table, but Cram says Reid's tenure should be celebrated.

"He's been brilliant for the club and Sunderland are on a different planet compared to when he came," the former champions athlete told BBC Sport Online.

"We've played some of the best football I've ever seen at the club and Reid has presided over that with chairman Bob Murray.

"I know the last year or so hasn't been too good, but I honestly think the squad is better than it was two or three years ago anyway," Cram added.


It seems to me that the chairman has already got his man lined up and that the man might be David O'Leary
Bob Murray
Sunderland chairman
But Cram admitted the time had been right for a change of manager at the Stadium of Light

"I think there maybe comes a point when there has to be a change. But I feel disappointed for Reidy more than anything else," he said.

Cram thinks the Sunderland board already has a replacement manager lined up - and he thinks that man is former Leeds manager David O'Leary.

"It seems to me, reading between the lines, that the chairman has already got his man lined up and I think the man might be O'Leary.

"He's a name and he did quite well at Leeds for a period."

Cram hopes the Sunderland fans will remember Reid with affection and that one day they will be able to show their appreciation for him.

"What would be a pity, would be if fans don't get to show their appreciation for Reidy. It would be nice for him to be able to come onto the pitch at the Stadium of Light before a game.

"I'm not sure that it's going to happen because he is quite a proud bloke, but it would be nice."

 VOTE RESULTS
Who should replace the sacked Peter Reid?

George Graham
 14.68% 

David O'Leary
 59.40% 

Niall Quinn
 25.92% 

22193 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Peter Reid leaves Sunderland after over seven years in charge

Race to take over

Reid pays price

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