Our next goalie coach must blend in with what we have – Ross

The Chronicle - - Sport -

JACK Ross is work­ing to bring in a new goal­keep­ing coach – but in­sists he must find the right char­ac­ter to main­tain the “blend” of his back­room staff.

Sun­der­land have a va­cancy to fill af­ter Jimmy Walker left Wear­side this week to join Paul Lam­bert’s coach­ing staff at Ip­swich Town, in or­der to be closer to his fam­ily in the South East.

In the short term, the Black Cats’ hugely ex­pe­ri­enced academy goal­keep­ing coach Mark Prud­hoe has re­placed Walker, work­ing with first-team keep­ers Jon McLaugh­lin and Rob­bin Ruiter.

Prud­hoe will be on the bench along­side Ross and the rest of the Black Cats’ back­room staff for to­mor­row’s FA Cup first-round tie at Port Vale, and also in all prob­a­bil­ity for Tuesday’s Check­a­trade Tro­phy game at More­cambe. And the avail­abil­ity of Prud­hoe – who was in­flu­en­tial in the de­vel­op­ment of academy grad­u­ate Jor­dan Pick­ford – means that there is no need to make a rushed ‘knee­jerk’ ap­point­ment.

For­mer St Mir­ren boss Ross is likely to have a can­di­date in mind to fill the po­si­tion full-time, but it can prove dif­fi­cult to make staffing changes mid-sea­son – par­tic­u­larly if the per­son con­cerned is al­ready in a job. He said: “Any dis­rup­tion to what you’re do­ing is more of a chal­lenge mid-sea­son than at the end.

“But I am lucky that I’ve got Pruds [Prud­hoe] – a very good goal­keep­ing coach. The work he has done this week has been fairly seam­less, and it takes a bit of pres­sure off me.

“I’d still hope to fill the po­si­tion as quickly as pos­si­ble. I think we got the blend right with the staff and I want to bring in some­one who fits in with that.”

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