Niall Quinn appreciates his reputation is on the line in taking on the dual role of Sunderland chairman and manager. After weeks of trying to bring in what he describes as a "world-class manager", Quinn has opted - with the support of his consortium - to move into the hot seat.
"We have tried to attract a world-class manager," he said yesterday. "There were a couple of times when we thought we were there, that we had the package that made them go 'wow, you've stung me there'. We thought we would get one of them to make the jump, but it didn't quite come off, and that was the low point.
"Beyond that, we felt we needed somebody who knew the workings of the club, who knew it when it was good and bad. I fitted the bill. The group had to decide if it was possible for me to combine both roles, while I had to ask myself and my family that question first, and there was not a moment's doubt.
"I know it's not going to be easy, that I have to dedicate myself full-time to the goings-on at the club, and most importantly on the training ground.
"You might ask me about the pressure? I could play golf and be on television talking about football until the cows come home, but it does nothing for me.
"When there is a flame burning inside to do something, then you can't ignore it. I feel like a young kid bursting for his manager to let him go on. I feel confident because of the personnel I can use, and the willpower in this region to see the club do well.
"I know there's a personal risk to me. I understand my reputation is on the line, but I'm really up for the challenge and focused. I feel it will be a worthwhile decision because of the reward - and I'm not talking financial - of seeing this club back where it should be. That would eclipse anything I have done in my career."
Quinn, who scored 69 goals in 212 appearances for Sunderland, has appointed Bobby Saxton as assistant - a role he previously enjoyed under Peter Reid - with Kevin Richardson as first-team coach.