This is how Sunderland's new-look 'leadership group' actually works

Lee Johnson has outlined how his new look 'leadership group' at Sunderland actually works.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 9:00 am

Johnson appointed summer signing Corry Evans as his team captain before the campaign began, with experienced winger Aiden McGeady his vice captain.

Much of the off-field responsibilities, however, have been handed to Bailey Wright and Luke O'Nien as club captains, with Tom Flanagan and Lynden Gooch also part of a leadership group.

Sunderland's head coach has outlined how Wright and O'Nien are responsible for helping implement the club's culture within the playing squad.

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Sunderland team captain Corry Evans

"I just think there's so many areas to leadership," Johnson told Sky Sports.

"It's not hard and fast like Wacko from Mike Bassett headbutting a wall before a game to get everyone going!

"We've got a lot of players who are interested in leadership and have their own unique selling points and skills, and we want to develop those players.

"We've got the cultural side of the club we want to push on, and the players felt the best two to do that were Bailey Wright and Luke O'Nien.

"They have got a big responsibility in dealing with any gripes the players have, team days out, the fines system, helping out the kit man and things like that.

"Then there is the team captain Corry [Evans]," Johnson added.

"I don't want him getting too involved in that side of thing. His job is to communicate with me on a daily basis in terms of how training is gone, if the boys are tired or if they need to do extra.

"During a game I can talk to him about potential changes and he can articulate messages to the players who can't hear me because there are 32,000 screaming Mackems in the stands.

"I know there are some people who will say it's all a load of rubbish, but there's genuinely enough to do to spread the load, give accountability and manage what needs managing, such as things that are really important to us like player appearances in the community," he added.

"We felt the players we have put in those roles are best served for us to be successful in all areas."

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