Stephen Elliott: Why Lee Johnson will need all his man-management experience at Sunderland

As pleased as I am that Lee Johnson has managed to get some new bodies in the door, my biggest worry is how he will keep all the squad on the same page and have them buying into his philosophies.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 10:00 am

With new signings coming through the door you would guess there will be some senior players who are going to find their game time limited.

Johnson will need to make sure he doesn’t let a bad vibe drift into the group.

Some of those players not playing regularly may start turning up at the Academy of Light with questionable attitudes. This could become a bit unsettling for the rest of the squad.

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Lee Johnson.

This is nothing new, I’ve seen it before in my own career. When players stop trying as hard in training after being left out, it can really affect the core group if the situation isn’t managed properly.

You would hope that there is enough professionalism in the squad for this scenario not to arise but sometimes it can be difficult for an out-of-favour player to keep at it 100% knowing they aren’t really part of things.

I hope Johnson has enough man-management experience to deal with this situation if it does develop.

However, one thing that is certain, if the results are good and Sunderland start climbing up the table, dealing with unhappy players will become a lot easier for the manager.

Onwards and upwards. Hopefully starting with turning MK Dons over a couple of times this week.