Charlie Methven on Jack Ross, recruitment and Sunderland's phenomenal support

Executive director Charlie Methven says he is satisfied with the progress Sunderland have made this summer.

Friday, 3rd August 2018, 12:36 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd August 2018, 12:38 pm
Executive director Charlie Methven

It has been a turbulent period for the new regime who have had to appoint a new management team, overhaul the club's structure and finance the construction of an almost entirely new squad.

A small number of wantaway players still remain, with Methven confirming that the situation regarding Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong is ongoing.

Executive director Charlie Methven

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The Black Cats have sought legal advice with the pair not returning to Wearside for pre-season.

Nevertheless, he feels that the club are in a 'decent position' ahead of the league opener against Charlton Athletic.

"If someone had said that we’d be in a current position when we took over we’d have said, ‘we’ll take that, decent result’," Methven told BBC Newcastle.

"I wouldn’t want to pre-judge what will happen on the playing side," he added.

"Pride comes before a fall when it comes to competitive sport. We hope and believe that we have put together a competitive playing squad, and it’s one which is going to get more competitive as the weeks go by.

"Jack [Ross] has said a couple of times that we’re probably a couple of weeks behind where we’d like to be. I think that was probably always going to the way, it’s just been such a big turnaround of players. It’s probably been at least double the amount of normal turnover that a League One club would normally have. Hopefully come Saturday it’ll all come right."

Methven added that while player recruitment is not a primary role of his at the club, he believes that the team in place will be searching for another 'couple of additions'.

He insisted, however, that Ross would not sanction the arrival of players for the sake of it.

He said: "It’s not really my area of the business.

"But I think it’s reasonably common knowledge that we’d like to bring an extra couple in. But Jack is very, very insistent that the players who come in are players that are going to improve the squad in the medium to long-term.

"I know that sounds obvious but I’ve worked at clubs before where it’s been, get them in through the door, pile them high and then I’ll work it out from there.

"A few times the recruitment department have said to Jack, we think we’ve got someone here who is workable, who we think we can get, and Jack has said, actually, I don’t think he’ll fit in with my style of play or he's not the right character, or whatever it might be.

"He’s quite judicious in the way in which he does things, the aspiration is there for another couple to come in but it’s not a given. If the right players aren’t available he won’t do it."

Methven also praised the club's support, hoping hat the club could see 30,000 supporters attend the opening game on Saturday lunchtime.

He said that number was 'extraordinary', adding that the loyalty was 'phenomenal' and that he would not 'take it for granted'.