Tony Mowbray outlines what Sunderland needs to do this summer

Mowbray’s own future is the subject of significant uncertainty as the head coach has admitted he “doesn’t know what the future holds” amid mounting speculation linking the Black Cats hierarchy to a number of foreign coaches.

As well as clarifying the situation with Mowbray, Sunderland owners Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and Kristjaan Speakman also have a number of recruitment and contract issues to settle this summer.

Amad Diallo needs to be replaced as he returns to Manchester United at the end of his loan period, as does fellow loanee Joe Gelhardt, who is returning to Leeds. Sunderland have the option to buy Edouard Michut for a transfer fee of around £5million but have to decide whether the clause in the French midfielder’s loan deal with Paris St Germain will come into effect.


Ross Stewart’s long-term future remains uncertain as he prepares for the final year of his contract at the Stadium of Light, while Sunderland could also receive offers from the likes of Anthony Patterson and Dan Neil, who have enjoyed extremely impressive seasons in the Championship.

“Obviously the club needs to build up now and keep their best players,” Mowbray said. “We have to keep growing. This is soccer. We have to keep building and improving if we want to be a force.

“I can list the teams that will be hoping to get promoted from the Championship next season – Southampton will be tremendously strong and if it’s Leicester, Leeds or Everton then what about them?”

“In return Ipswich Town are coming, a club I know very well with 30,000 fans coming every week and a good coach and good players. Then there’s West Brom, Norwich City and whoever doesn’t move up from Luton, Middlesbrough or Coventry.

“It’s a really tough league and we’ve done incredibly well this season keeping up with and outperforming some of these teams. We have to keep getting better to do it again.”

Mowbray thinks Sunderland have made significant progress this season having only emerged from League One via the play-offs 12 months ago.

The challenge now is to maintain that upward trend, as this season’s achievements mean that the goal for next season must be winning promotion.

“I think we said we’re going in the right direction,” Mowbray added. “We came from the first division and maybe the club was thinking about consolidation.

“And yet the team did their best with that, with the support of the people who come to the away games every week and come to the Stadium of Light and watch us.” We managed to get beyond mediocrity. We were close, but unfortunately we didn’t make it.” Tony Mowbray outlines what Sunderland needs to do this summer

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