FA Chief Executive Adam Crozier has paid generous tribute to the work done by Howard Wilkinson during his five-year spell as the Football Association’s technical director.

Wilkinson has quit his post at the FA to return to club management with Sunderland, whre he will work alongside Steve Cotterill.

‘We are disappointed to lose Howard as technical director of the FA, but we are grateful for everything he has done and respect his decision to return to club management,’said Crozier.

‘Over the last five years, through his Charter for Quality initiative, which laid the foundations for academies and centres of excellence, Howard has contributed greatly to the development of young players and enhanced the standard of coaching in this country,’ Crozier told TheFA.com.

‘In the last two years Howard has been working closely on the development of the National Football Centre at Burton and the introduction of mandatory coaching qualifications to the game.

‘I am personally very grateful to Howard for his help on these projects and many others. I would like to wish him every success in the future at Sunderland.’