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Sunderland: James Copley loves Tony Mowbray gesture

Sunderland: James Copley loves Tony Mowbray gesture - Championship News

Sunderland Echo journalist James Copley has heaped praise on Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray after he allowed Jewison Bennette’s father to accompany the team to Watford last month for their Championship clash.

The lowdown

The 58-year-old explained¬†that the youngster’s dad was invited onto the team coach for the trip to Vicarage Road because he had travelled from Costa Rica to watch his son ‘but had no clue where Watford was’.

Bennette joined Sunderland late in the summer transfer window, making a £1.17m move from CS Herediano, who play in the top flight in his homeland.

The latest

Copley, who covers the Black Cats for the Sunderland Echo, relayed Mowbray’s comments via Twitter on Monday and offered his reaction.

He feels that the decision by the Sunderland manager would have eased the Bennettes’ adjustment process in England, writing: “Such a small but meaningful gesture to help the lad and family acclimatise and settle in. Love it.”

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The verdict

This is good man management from Mowbray, something he seems to regard as one of his strengths.

Indeed, when he left Blackburn Rovers earlier this year, he spoke about the importance of ‘emotional intelligence‘ for a coach, enabling a manager to ‘connect with their players’.

The decision regarding the bus trip to Watford is surely a gesture that Bennette, still a very young player at the age of 18 and now living thousands of miles from home, would very much have appreciated.

The teenager marked the occasion at Vicarage Road with an assist off the bench, helping Sunderland to snatch a point after they trailed 2-1.

It’s one of three substitute appearances that Bennette has made so far, with Mowbray showing sensible caution in bedding the youngster into the team gently.

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