Sunderland favourite Kevin Phillips has warned sporting director Kristjaan Speakman that he needs to be careful when it comes to handing out new contracts at the club given the Black Cats history.
The Wearside outfit have a host of players approaching the end of their deals, although decisions aren’t going to be made until the club know what division they will be playing in as they prepare for the play-offs.
And, speaking to Football Insider, Phillips made it clear that Sunderland can’t afford to replicate the mistakes previous regimes have made, where underperforming players were given long contracts and proved hard to shift.
“They have had their fingers burnt before. They have splashed out too much on giving big players big wages. The obvious one that springs to mind is Rodwell. It really stung them in the backside so I hope they get the balance right with the next round of contracts.
“Kyril Louis-Dreyfus is only young but I am sure he has people in his ear giving him sound advice. I don’t think they will be held to ransom. Yes, you need to pay players well if you want to have the best but I just hope they don’t get it wrong this time.”
Does the Stadium of Light have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?
You can understand where Phillips is coming from, as Sunderland have made plenty of mistakes in the past.
However, new people are making the decisions now, so it would be unfair to think they may get it wrong, and it’s important to back them to make the right calls.
The first big decisions for the new regime is looming, with several key players out-of-contract in the summer, so it will be interesting to see who they can keep. Of course, a lot will depend on whether they go up or not, and the only focus for anyone connected to Sunderland will be these play-off games.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.