Rowell Report: Sunderland must stand by Ball after Poyet appointment

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell.
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell.
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IT seems certain that Gus Poyet will today be named as Sunderland’s new head coach – and, of course, I wish him all the very best of luck.

I’ll discuss the appointment in full in next week’s Rowell Report, when we should know a little more clearly how the lands lies.

But if it is to be Gus in charge, then I do hope that he keeps club legend Kevin Ball on the staff and makes the most of his affinity with the club, as well as his coaching expertise.

Kevin had three games in charge and made progress in the Capital One Cup but two very difficult Premier League games were always going to be the yardstick upon which he was judged.

The fact that we didn’t pick up a single point in those games didn’t help his claims but improvement was made and the players were certainly playing for him.

Bally wasn’t afraid to make changes both to the team and tactics and he approached the job with a determination to do it in his own way.

With a two-week break now before the next game, away to Swansea, a decision needed to be made early on to end all the uncertainty and prevent a drift from taking place.

The players in the dressing room always prefer stability because then you know exactly where you stand, so the sooner the decision was taken the better

The fans are looking for purpose and leadership from the club now and also for signs of a clear strategy to move us forwards.

But regardless of the who the new head coach is, I think most fans would hope Kevin would be part of the first-team set-up, and I agree with that.

Bally is trusted by supporters and he is the main link the club has to the fans since Niall Quinn left and because of that he is a huge asset that shouldn’t be wasted.