Sunderland’s Sporting Director has been speaking to the media as he spoke about plans for next season while reflecting on the steps they took to get back to the Championship.
Sunderland’s transfer activity in the winter came under scrutiny as they decided against bringing in competition for Ross Stewart as well as options at full-back, with Speakman insisting that resources were concentrated in the right areas of the squad.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Speakman said: “I was really calm and on record from January onwards that we felt we had a really good spot.
“That’s what we are paid in those positions to do and you have to make discretionary choices about where you have certain strength and where you might spend more money on certain players in certain positions.
“Thankfully for us, that has been vindicated by the positions and obviously the performances over the last three months and more recently in those play-off games where it is a real pressurised situation.”
However, Speakman is under no illusion that the club will need to strengthen once again to ensure they are competitive in the Championship.
Four players have returned to their parent clubs following the conclusion of their loans and five players have been released, meaning a mini rebuild will be needed, something Speakman acknowledged: “We’ve got an understanding right now of where the players are and where we think some of those players can get to and then we will compliment that with new players.”
It’s a big summer for Sunderland as they look to ensure they are competitive come the start of the season.
Their last campaign in the Championship didn’t go to plan and there certainly will be some scarring that remains, but the benchmark of any club is their quality of recruitment and Sunderland seem in good hands with Speakman.
Also, with Alex Neil, he’s proven on many occasions he can outperform expectations and on a limited budget, something the Wearsider’s will have acknowledged when bringing him to the club.
This therefore, feels like it should be a rather eventful, and indeed exciting, summer transfer window for those of a Sunderland persuasion.