'No smoke without fire' - Pundit delivers verdict on Tony Mowbray summer Sunderland exit talk

Former Sunderland player Don Goodman has talked about the rumours involving Tony Mowbray last summer.
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Don Goodman has stated that there's "no smoke with out fire" when it comes to last summer's manager talk at Sunderland.

Head coach Tony Mowbray took over from Alex Neil and took Sunderland to the play-offs but was linked with a summer exit with several outlets stating that the Black Cats were looking to replace him.

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Mowbray, though, stayed at Sunderland. Goodman told OLBG before the Wearsiders' loss to Plymouth Argyle: "I was staggered to hear that his job was in doubt in the summer - I nearly fell off my chair.

"There's no smoke without fire, and you wonder where that's come from and if they were genuinely considering it. They didn't. If their choice to not sack Mowbray was accidental, then the owners have been very lucky.

"Sunderland's model is clear to see - they're developing young players. They'll have to sell a few along the way and move onto the next batch of players. Sunderland have some brilliant young players, and a young group like that can't be coached by anyone better than Tony.

"He did it at West Brom and Blackburn. He's brilliant with young players. Sunderland had to recover from the disappointment of last season, and them being sixth is a brilliant effort. They've lost Ross Stewart, and I stick to my assessment that if they had him for the whole of last season, they could be in the Premier League now.

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"I think the current top four will stay the same until the end of the season, though perhaps not in that order. That means fifth and sixth are up for grabs, and Sunderland are in a genuine race with four or five other teams. Sunderland are in there, and for them to be so high up is a brilliant effort."

Sunderland lost 2-0 away to Plymouth Argyle in the Championship on Saturday with Mowbray opting to restore Luke O'Nien and Dan Ballard to his starting XI after the pair missed the club's last game against Birmingham City at the Stadium of Light through suspension. The loss against The Pilgrims leaves Sunderland ninth in the Championship.

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