Ex-Rangers boss explains Sunderland role working with Mike Dodds after backroom staff changes

Sunderland’s under-21s boss Graeme Murty discusses his role working with the club's first team.
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Sunderland’s under-21s boss Graeme Murty says it’s been really enjoyable working with the first-team staff while looking to improve links between the two groups.

Murty, who has previously been an interim manager at Rangers, has been supporting Sunderland’s first-team coaching staff since Mike Dodds took charge of the Black Cats in February, while still overseeing the under-21s set-up.

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“It’s really enjoyable because I get to see the 21s, I get to see the first team, I see what the link is, the commonalities,” said Murty when asked how his role has changed over the last month. “I see a lot of similarities in things where we need to get better. We need to get smoother as a group to move up the line.

“The first-team staff have been incredibly welcoming, making sure I know everything that’s going on, that I’m fully read into the plans. It’s been really enjoyable working with the first-team players. The first-team players are really good to work with, really positive, they work hard every day. For me to see them working like that and to hopefully help them a little bit, it’s been really positive for me.

“I can take some of the actions that I’m learning there and apply it further down with the younger ones. What has been really positive is the young ones have been getting on the first-team path fairly regularly. You see there’s some of them on the bench as well. 

“I’ve said to the players, having it being recognised and doing it for a certain period isn’t enough. We need to be really consistent in our standards and make sure we are pushing to get better every single day.”

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On his first-team role specifically, Murty added: “My role is to support. All I’m trying to do is make sure I add value where I’m asked. My role is really, really clear. It’s not for me to come in and advocate wholesale change. My job is to go and support the guys that are in there. The guys that are in there have their ideas about how we are going to play and what we’re going to do moving forward and I’m just there to add value.”

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