Lee Johnson reacts to the completion of the Sunderland takeover and has this strong message for squad

Lee Johnson says the completion of Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ takeover of the club is ‘brilliant’ news for Sunderland.

Sunday, 21st February 2021, 6:00 am

Louis-Dreyfus was in attendance as the Black Cats beat Burton 3-0 on Saturday, moving back into the League One play-off positions.

Johnson says the news means the club can now invest in key areas as they build for the future.

Sunderland have already advertised for a new Head of Analysis and Data and a Lead Data Scientist.

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Kyril Louis-Dreyfus watches on at Burton Albion

The Black Cats are also expected to confirm Stuart English’s appointment to a senior academy role in the near future.

English has attended the club’s two most recent games.

“It’s nice to be able to answer the questions at last,” Johnson said.

“It’s brilliant that it’s done, and the important thing now is that we can invest in the correct areas.

“Kyril is coming in, he has some great ideas and he is very well-rounded. He has had a front-row seat watching his dad run Marseille and Club Bruges, so I have been very impressed with him and I’m looking forward to working with him and trying to take the club forward.”

It has been a hugely positive week for the Black Cats, beginning with the 4-1 win over Doncaster and continuing with the Papa John’s Trophy semi final win over Lincoln City in midweek.

The comfortable rout of Burton Albion sees Sunderland beginning to build some momentum, and confirmation of the takeover has seen positivity grow amongst supporters.

Johnson, however, says that internally it is his job to ensure the squad remain ground and says they must be ‘focused’ ahead of Fleetwood’s visit to the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night.

“Within the squad, it’s important that we flatten the waves, we’re not superheroes all of a sudden, we have to keep on keep pulling out results, we have to keep churning out professional perfomances like this, and we have to keep our focus,” Johnson said.

“You know what this league is like, if you don’t maintain that focus then seven days later the table can look very different.

“The club is definitely moving forward and the club is moving towards better days and better times, but in the meantime we have to do our jobs and win football matches.

“Football can slap you in the face very, very, quickly so we have to stay focused.

“League One is a marathon and that is why I have talked about the clubs with the big squads coming through.

“We are building momentum, we are building belief, and yes, there will be bumps in the road and hurdles to jump, but the signs are positive and that’s good.”

Johnson was particularly pleased with the way so many players have thrived in unfamiliar roles in the past week, something he feels bodes well for the run in.

“These boys have been going beyond the call of duty, and sometimes it can be a bit of a slog,” he said.

"I think the sending off was a turning point, they would have had to do a lot from there, and we were bringing good players on who got good cohesion and created chances late on. Chrissy Maguire’s shot was a great save from the keeper and we were able to see the game out.”

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