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