Sunderland's behind-scenes rebuild continues with new appointment to backroom staff
Sunderland have made another behind-the-scenes appointment, with physio Ketan Patel joining the club from Leyton Orient.
Lee Johnson said that Patel would bring a different skillset to the club’s medical team, and said it underlined the club’s determination to progress and rebuild regardless of short-term results.
"Ketan will be coming in as an extra pair of hands," Johnson said.
"He brings a different skill-set, different therapy specialities, to the staff.
We want to keep on advancing every area of the club, whether that be medical, whether that be sports science.
"The randomness of football should never get in the way of the long-term progression of the club.”
Patel has previously worked at Charlton Athletic and West Ham United, and Leyton Orient Director of Football Martin Ling said he was disappointment to be losing a ‘valuable’ member of his team.
Ling said: “Ketan has been a valuable member of the backroom team since the day I walked into the building.
“He was actually the second new employee I bought here, and has been so important.”
“Unfortunately for us, an opportunity that he can’t turn down has arisen at Sunderland AFC, and whilst it frustrates me in one way, and am pleased on a personal note this has happened for Ketan.”
Patel added: “I’d like to thank Martin, Nigel and Kent, who have been brilliant since I joined the club, as well as all of the board and staff, and the players I have worked with in my time.”
“I’ve had a really enjoyable four years at the club, and would like to wish its supporters all the best for the future.”
Speaking earlier this month, Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman said that the work to rebuild the club’s structures was continuing at pace.
He said: “I think certainly behind the scenes in terms of how we go about operating all our teams and all our performance domains, we're certainly making progress there.
"I appreciate for the fans it's a difficult one to understand because they don't get that real insight, but there's probably a few sides to it.
"One is the physical infrastructure - this building is an incredible facility and to think it was built nearly 18 years ago, it's still pretty much fit to purpose and that's a testament to Sir Bob. What we need to do is just adjust a little bit of the layout to accommodate all of the teams who have evolved since then.
"Sports science, performance, analysis and data - they need a home with the right equipment and space to perform and be as efficient and effective as possible.
"Then you've got the people,” he added.
"We're probably about 60 per cent through on that and we've still got several positions we'll be embarking upon over the summer months, trying to work on it was some strategy and prioritisation.
"But that, as you can probably appreciate, takes a heck of a lot of time behind the scenes to pull together candidate lists and interview processes and select the right kind of person.”