Former Sunderland forward Kevin Phillips has urged Kyle Louis-Dreyfus to ensure that he focuses his plans solely on getting the Black Cats out of League One before looking at other objectives.
The Black Cats have had an eventful week on and off the field with Sunderland managing to pick up two comfortable wins in League One against Doncaster Rovers and Burton Albion, with a cup win against Lincoln City in between, while the club have also finally seen the takeover get over the line meaning they can now build for the future.
Lee Johnson has managed to get Sunderland back towards a side that looks capable of securing a top-six finish this term over the last few week. The win against Burton lifted the Black Cats back into 6th place in the table, but there is still lots of football to be played and teams around them do have games in hand on them.
Quiz: Did these 15 former Sunderland players leave for a higher or lower fee than they arrived for?
Speaking to Football Insider, Phillips insisted that Louis-Dreyfus has to put his immediate focus solely onto this season and the fight for the Black Cats to get out of League One. While he urged him not to get carried away with thoughts of preparing for the Championship or even the Premier League.
He said: “Louis-Dreyfus will have a plan of where he wants the club to be in five years but it is very easy to set targets but actions speak louder than words.
“I would not be getting too carried away. A plan is great but it is about the here and now. Sunderland have to create a team that can get out of this league. Worry about the Championship afterwards.
“This is the third season in League One now. You can plan to be back in the Premier League in five years, but any club can say that. The only plan should be one that gets the club out of League One. Worry about the Championship when you are in it. Take it step by step.
“We have to be careful, we cannot get carried away. If they go up this year it would be a great bonus because Louis-Dreyfus can put his hand in his pocket and make them stronger for next year. It is a case of not looking any further than this season.”
Sunderland are a club that simply have to get out of the division they are in as swiftly as possible. The Black Cats, like other sizeable clubs that have dropped down to the third tier in recent times, have found it a major challenge to get out of League One. The last two seasons saw them endure frustration in the play-offs and then even worse not being good enough to even make the top-six.
There will be a lot of hope over the new takeover of the club, but also a feeling of nervousness given how other recent owners have performed in recent years at the Stadium of Light. Phillips understands the club and the supporters and he is right here in saying that there can be no time for getting carried away with dreams of playing at a higher level once again.
The new owners can not directly impact upon this season’s promotion battle in terms of giving funds for Johnson to add to his squad. However, they can help behind the scenes in other ways by bringing some stability to proceedings. If they do not go up this campaign, then the Black Cats need to see major plans outlined by the new owners for next term that shou,d finally help them to return to the Championship.