George Honeyman reveals key pre-season detail that will help Sunderland's preparations
Sunderland captain George Honeyman admits having a continuity of coaching will be key for Sunderland’s promotion bid this season.
The Black Cats reported back for pre-season training yesterday after a short summer break.
Manager Jack Ross and his coaching staff put the players through their paces at the Academy of Light, and Honeyman admits having the same coaching set-up in place as last season is a rare, but welcome, bonus.
The last few seasons have seen a change of management and coaching in pre-season at Sunderland. Dick Advocaat was the last manager to finish one season and start another, back in 2015. Sam Allardyce only lasted a couple of weeks of pre-season the following year before being replaced by David Moyes, with Simon Grayson, Chris Coleman and Ross having occupied the manager’s office since.
Honeyman admitted: “Coming in with the same manager for pre-season is a big help.
“We know how he works, and we know how he works so that will be a really important factor in our preparations for this season.”
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Sunderland’s players have had just five weeks off since their heartbreaking play-off final defeat against Charlton Athletic, compared to extended breaks for some of their League One rivals.
Honeyman, however, admits he was chomping at the bit to return to the club and get preparations in place for another promotion push.
“I think as players when it gets nearer to the return date for training you just want to be back and on the grass,” he told the club’s website.
“I have been really excited to getting back and seeing all the lads. I had a great summer; I am really refreshed and ready to go again this year.
“It will be an intense month but fortunately the lads have all come back in great shape. I am sure the gaffer will put us through our paces and we have some games to get ourselves ready for the opening day against Oxford.”
Sunderland’s first pre-season game is against South Shields on Thursday, July 18 in Portugal against Benfica B.