Jack Ross turns to a familiar face while he searches for Sunderland's new goalkeeping coach

Jack Ross is looking for a new coach to work with Jon McLaughlin
Jack Ross is looking for a new coach to work with Jon McLaughlin
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Experienced goalkeeping coach Mark Prudhoe has taken over first team duties while Jack Ross searches for Jimmy Walker's replacement.

Walker left the club this week to join Paul Lambert's backroom staff at Ipswich Town, citing a desire to be closer to his family as the main reason for his decision.

Ross is eager to make a permanent appointment as soon as possible but says having the respected Prudhoe to lean on takes the pressure off.

Prudhoe has worked with goalkeepers in Sunderland's academy for a number of years.

"[Jimmy leaving] is not ideal mid-season," Ross said.

"Any disruption during the season is challenging.

"I'm lucky that I've got Pruds, a very good goalkeeping coach and very well respected.

"He's also someone who worked at Hartlepool United while I was there. He was one of the first people I spoke to when I came to the training ground after taking the job. I knew him well and got on well with him.

"So I'm very fortunate in that sense, the work he has done with the goalkeepers this week has been fairly seamless.

"That takes a little bit of pressure off having to do something knee jerk. But I'd still hope to try and fill the position as soon as possible.

"The blend of the staff we've had this season has been good so I need to make sure we get that right again."

Prudhoe, who had a spell at Sunderland as a player, played a key part in the rise of England star Jordan Pickford.

Pickford himself praised his work during England's run to the World Cup semi-finals last summer.

"I’d like to say I’ve had many coaches throughout my career but I always go back to Mark Prudhoe. He’s my main one.

“At Sunderland he had me since I was eight years-old when I was daft as a brush and I still ring him now.

"I’ll ring him after this game [a quarter-final win over Sweden] and ask him what he thinks. He’ll tell me if I’ve been good or bad."