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Key Sunderland figure offers verdict on Black Cats’ progress



Kristjaan Speakman has been reflecting on Sunderland’s progress during his first year with the Black Cats. 

The Sporting Director was appointed just over a year ago after leaving Birmingham City which sparked a new era for the Wearsider’s.

It was a newly created role as Sunderland embarked on a new era under new ownership, with Speakman’s first task appointing Lee Johnson as manager just 24 hours after coming into the club.

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Speaking to the The Chronicle about the last year, Speakman has been pleased but is keen to carry on improving: “We’ve made some good progress but, naturally as something of a perfectionist, I look and thing ‘we could have done this better’ or ‘I could have done that better’ or ‘I think I should have done this or that.

“I’m constantly reflecting and trying to improve. There’s lots of work to do, but we are going to be disciplined and composed about how we do it. We are going to make every decision in the best interests of Sunderland.”

This is good news for Sunderland who for many years seemed to be rudderless without any direction which ultimately led to their drop to the third tier.

Speakman also revealed the work behind the scenes and the importance of ‘modernising’ the club: “We’ve done lots of work on the football side of the business, and in 2022 you are going to see some more modernisation in terms of how we run the off-field side of the business under Steve Davison.

“When you operate in high-performance sport, you always want to be doing more and you want to achieve more, but you have to be realistic in terms of how fast can you go with the resources that are available.

“I think that at the moment, from ownership all the way across the football club and the business side, we are making some really positive strides, and that’s the most important thing.”

As things stand, Sunderland are currently second in the League One table, four points clear of the play-off places ahead of their trip to fourth placed Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.

The Verdict

This should come as good news for Sunderland fans and whilst there have been bumps along the way, it’s the start of sustained long term success.

Getting things right off the field seems the most appropriate way forward for Lee Johnson’s side after years of neglect.

It’s been shown with clubs over the years that if everything is in line off the pitch, results will be delivered on the pitch.

Given they will feel they have been in League One for way too long now, that will of course be a big relief for those associated with the Black Cats.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Key Sunderland figure offers verdict on Black Cats’ progress

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