Why Kyril Louis-Dreyfus' planned pitch investment is so important to Sunderland's new philosophy

Lee Johnson says planned improvements to the Stadium of Light pitch will be crucial in helping to realise the club's new playing philosophy.

Saturday, 27th February 2021, 6:00 am

Johnson had called for investment after the 2-1 defeat to Plymouth Argyle earlier this year, on a night where the poor condition of the turf had left the game in doubt in one stage.

Confirmation of the takeover of the club by Kyril Louis-Dreyfus means that a resolution is now on the horizon, with the new chairman understood to be preparing to sanction a six-figure investment.

Johnson was recruited to help the club play a higher-tempo and more attacking style, and the Head Coach believes improving sufraces across the board is essential.

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Sunderland's pitch is set to be upgraded at some stage in the near future

"I think the playing surface is really important," he said.

“Again it’s something you can control, at home anyway.

“I know the Stadium of Light has been used for some great concerts – and I’m looking forward to hopefully getting a freebie at some stage in the future because I miss the music scene! - but at the same time we want to play a certain brand of football.

“A good pitch is conducive to good, slick, football.

“I always say to the boys ‘I don’t want football, I want ice hockey’, because that’s how fast I want us to move the ball and obviously the pitch can aid that," he added.

“It [a new pitch] is something that we have discussed, but obviously there are short-term plans and long-term plans and the pound has got to stretch across a number of different areas in the club.

“The pitch is one of them, and the pitches at the training ground are important as well.

“I’m pretty sure that we will get it right because we have got great groundstaff who have been brilliant so far, top drawer – I’ve been very impressed with those guys, and investing in a new pitch would help them."

Louis-Dreyfus has quickly moved to address some of the issues with the infrastructure at the club since his takeover was confirmed, with the club currently advertising for key appointments to their data and analysis operations.

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