Sunderland are poised to officially add Mark Venus to Tony Mowbray’s coaching staff, James Hunter of The Chronicle reports.
As Hunter explains, the assistant coach role is currently vacant at the Stadium of Light after Alex Neil left the club to take over at Stoke City and brought his no. 2, Martin Canning, with him.
Mowbray, his replacement, oversaw his first game in charge on Wednesday – a 3-0 victory over Rotherham United.
Venus was a team-mate of Mowbray’s at Ipswich Town and has aided him in managerial roles at six different clubs – Hibernian, West Brom, Celtic, Middlesbrough, Coventry City and Blackburn Rovers.
Sunderland aren’t in action again until Monday, when they travel to north-east rivals Middlesbrough for the Tees-Wear derby.
Hunter took to Twitter to inform Sunderland fans of the imminent appointment.
“#safc expect to have Tony Mowbray’s longtime No.2 in place over the next 48hrs,” he wrote.
Venus has held productive talks with the club behind-the-scenes, and that could see him installed before the clash with Boro.
Bringing in Venus will allow Mowbray to build on his strong start in the Black Cats’ dugout.
Sunderland are only two points off the automatic promotion places in the Championship, and so a sustained run of good form could generate considerable excitement.
Together with Venus, Mowbray nearly took Blackburn into the play-offs last season, but they finished eighth and just missed out.
Clearly, he feels that he wouldn’t be fully equipped to succeed at Sunderland without his trusted right-hand man – the new manager has already spoken positively about what the dynamic will be like in his backroom team.
He says the combination of Venus and incumbent coaches Mike Dodds and Michael Proctor will be ‘really good’, and explains that his long-time deputy offers a more pragmatic contrast to his ‘touchy-feely’ style.
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