Significant Tony Mowbray update as sporting director sends clear message on Sunderland future
Kristjaan Speakman says there is 'no uncertainty' over Tony Mowbray's future
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Kristjaan Speakman has insisted that there is 'no uncertainty' over the future of head coach Sunderland Tony Mowbray.
The Echo understands that Mowbray is now under contract until the end of next season after triggering an extension, having initially agreed a two-year deal.
Mowbray succeeded Alex Neil just over a year ago and has proven to be a hugely popular figure with players and supporters, as well as hugely successful in terms of results.
The head coach, despite being faced with a number of significant injuries, led his team to the play-off semi finals last season and has overseen a strong response to the underwhelming opening two results this time around.
Despite that there have been persistent reports since the end of last season that the club have weighed up potential replacements, to which they initially offered no comment.
Speakman subsequently said the club were always planning for the future, as they do with the playing squad, but that Mowbray was an excellent fit.
He repeated that message in his review of the club's summer transfer window.
"The answer is that there’s no uncertainty, Tony is our head coach," Speakman said.
"He was our head coach last season and he’s our head coach now, and he’s doing a really, really good job for us.
"The noise and the circus that happens out on social media, that’s not something that we’re going to be involved in. It’s disappointing because stories come out from all sorts of angles, and is that going to create anxiety? Definitely, I think it would for anyone.
"There’s certainly been no uncertainty inside the club, it’s just been business as usual.
"I think it’s just where football is now, everyone has an opinion and a voice and a social media account. This is a huge football club and it’s no different to some of the clubs in the Premier League.
"I’ve said before that what we’re not going to do is start coming out every five minutes saying what’s correct and what isn’t. Top clubs don’t do that.
"We’ve got to stay steadfast with what we’re doing, professional with what we’re doing and diligent with what we’re doing.
"Those other things are for social media or whatever else it is, that’s not for us to be involved in."
Mowbray is understood to have triggered an additional year as a result of the team's strong finish last season.
While reluctant to discuss details within contracts, Speakman said the club were relaxed about the situation and that extension is likely the reason for that.
"Tony has got a significant amount of time left on his contract, so I don't think that's a topic like [some of] the players' contracts," Speakman said.
"Anything regarding staff and contracts will happen behind the scenes, but people shouldn't have any concerns about that.
"It'd be unprofessional for me to start diving into the details of people's contracts.
"Across our staffing structure there's incentivisation and contracts are [to an extent] performance-based, so you can probably make a good assumption that there's some incentives in [Mowbray's contract].
"We can't control the noise out there and I've said that before.
"We're carrying on as we are, keep our reviews and evaluations as they are, and hopefully we'll keep progressing."