Tony Mowbray gives this honest verdict on when Sunderland's new signings will be ready to feature
Tony Mowbray has said that it should not be seen as a negative if Sunderland's quartet of talented new signings need some time to settle and adapt before forcing their way into the first-team picture.
Jewison Bennette, Edouard Michut, Amad Diallo and Abdoullah Ba were introduced to supporters at half time of the 3-0 win over Rotherham United, and have all been training with their new head coach and team-mates for the first time this week.
Mowbray intends to organise some behind-closed-doors fixtures to help them acclimatise further, and says he will wait for the right moment to introduce them to Championship football.
What he has no doubt about is that they have the talent to succeed.
"They will need time to settle, and we need to work on the communication side a bit with one or two in terms of their english," he told The Echo.
"We shouldn't see it as a negative at all if it takes them a little bit of time, and the positive for us is that the team are functioning pretty well out on the grass at the moment, so we can give them that.
"They'll understand where they're at, there'll be a natural period for them to grow into the group. We have talked about putting some bounce games on to give them that game time, get them going, get them in that red-and-white shirt and feel part of the set-up.
"They have been very exciting watching them on the grass, they are fast and lively, athletic. They can dribble and run and shoot.
"I don't want to throw them straight in against Millwall at home for example and it's the land of the giants all of a sudden, we have to ease them in I think. If we pick up some substantial injuries and we have to put one of them in [I will], because they are very talented.
"The only issue I have at this moment in time is that they're not 6ft 4, tall, muscly lads and this is the Championship. But they have talent and that is what I want [to work with]. If you've got a team that's functioning and you bring one of these lads on, they skip past a few and play a reverse pass... you can see it in training when they get the ball and they're off. It's exciting, so let's see.
"It's up to me to find the right time and the right moment, so the team is functioning and there's a confidence, and they can just enhance it really."
While a period of adjustment will be required, Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman says all four have been signed to challenge for senior football.
"They're first-team footballers," he said.
"If you look at the CV's of the players, two French youth internationals, one potentially going to the World Cup and one at one of the biggest clubs in European football... but like anything, when they come in and the team is performing they have to work their way in.
"They've got to show the coaching staff they've got what it takes to start. We want that competition, there've been times where every fit, professional we've had would get in the matchday group. We need the competitiveness that comes when that doesn't quite happen."