Sunderland AFC headlines: Tony Mowbray's brilliant challenge to his SAFC squad

Tony Mowbray has been outlining his approach to management.

The Sunderland head coach is using the international break to get to know his squad a little better.

Here are today’s SAFC headlines:

Sunderland head coach reveals brilliant challenge to squad

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray.

The international break will give Mowbray a welcome opportunity to get to know many of his new squad better, a process which is already well under way.

"I've leaned on the coaching staff who were already here, they give you that sense of what you can and maybe can't expect from each individual," he said.

"I watch them in training of course and now I've now spoken to just about all of them individually as well, I told them that they all had to knock on my door and come in for a cup of tea and a chat, so I can get to know about them and their lives.

"I think about 90% of the players now I've managed to have half an hour with, finding out what they're like and what makes them tick, and giving them an understanding of what I like in footballers.

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"I'm an emotional coach, and I want them to know I'm there for them, that I'm there to help them. They'll all have individual plans going forward."

Challenges outlined to EFL and non-league clubs

Meanwhile, lunchtime kick-offs for weekend league and FA Cup matches would be considered by clubs in the EFL and the wider football pyramid to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, a new survey has found.

Sixty-three per cent of 40 clubs – including 12 EFL teams – surveyed by football reform group Fair Game over the last fortnight said they would consider earlier kick-offs to help reduce energy bills as the hours of daylight diminish, if they were given permission.

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The Government has pledged to support businesses with rising energy costs, but it is unclear whether this will benefit football clubs or how long any support will last, and concern about the cost-of-living crisis among clubs outside the Premier League remains high.

Overall, clubs rated their concern about the cost-of-living crisis at seven out of 10, rising to more than eight out of 10 among League Two teams.

Sixty per cent of the 40 clubs are considering halting ground improvement work as a result of the crisis, while 38 per cent are preparing to look at their non-playing staff budgets.