Chris Coleman offers insight into Sunderland’s recruitment planning and is confident ahead of January window

Chris Coleman.
Chris Coleman.
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Chris Coleman is confident he can build a successful partnership with Sunderland’s recruitment department ahead of a crucial January window.

Coleman knows he needs additions to his struggling squad and quickly identified a number of targets after arriving on Wearside.

Sunderland reshuffled their scouting department in the summer after Chief football officer Simon Wilson’s departure, promoting Neale McDermott to head of recruitment with academy director Jimmy Sinclair also playing a part.

The pair have been tasked with identifying players who fit the profile of a Sunderland player and boosting the manager’s options.

Coleman has been impressed with what he has seen so far and revealed that he has also drafted in his backroom staff to ‘come up with solutions’.

The Black Cats are working within a limited budget and the Sunderland boss has already said he is likely to be relying on loans.

He said: “We’ve had a plan in mind. We’re working really hard along with Neale McDermott, who’s been helping out – he’s been brilliant – we’re looking at different options.

“We’ve spent a lot of hours discussing it to see if we can add a bit of quality to what we’ve got, to help us out.

“It’s inevitable we could lose one or two ourselves so we’ve got make sure we’re pro-active so we don’t get caught short if that does happen.

“It could be an active transfer window. We could do with one or two faces to help us out but time will tell whether that’s the case or not. It helps because I know Neale [McDermott], that’s a big help,” he added.

“He’s been great, working his socks off. We all know a good player, we can all see that, it’s about knowing that little more about them, finding about their personality and their behaviour, all that kind of thing.

“He’s been really good, myself and Martin have been involved, Kit [Symons] as well, Robbie [Stockdale] and Tucks [Adrian Tucker], it has been all of us in a room trying to churn it out, come out with solutions and answers.”

Chief Executive Martin Bain identified poor recruitment structures as a key reason behind Sunderland’s long-term malaise and McDermott’s appointment was part of an attempt to correct that.

Coelman says he he has no problems with that approach and does not anticipate any friction during his tenure.

“The thing is, it is a funny one, managers come and go. So should that appointment [head of recruitment] be a one for the club? Someone who will be there long-term?” he said.

“Because if you keep changing, changing, changing it is tough. Nowadays if a manager lasts two years, that’s not common. So it is good for me to know these guys and the early conversations have been good. Martin has been pro-active as well, we’ve spent hours and hours together to find the solutions. It’s been good.”