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Our sporting director Kristjaan Speakman is happy with how things are going in the Championship so far, and says he's proud of the bond between fans and players.


"We’ve been really pleased with the progress on and off the pitch, especially considering that we are a newly promoted team. We’ve had to go through transitions, and our squad has had to adapt to the Championship. Not to mention we’ve had a change in head coach. I think the fact we’ve continued to progress on the pitch, and that’s including both our performances and our results, is really pleasing. You have to give a lot of credit to Tony Mowbray and the backroom staff, who have been able to provide the right provision for the players to be able to perform week in week out."


"Reflections are really important, because you want to try and assess your decisions and how we can improve. Despite this, it’s really difficult to find that reflection time, we had a long drawn out season which finished with a play off final that will certainly be a memory for me and my family, it was a great day and it meant a lot to everyone involved. Then shortly after that, you're into the summer transfer window and preparing for a new season in the Championship. We tried to get some good reflection time, but everyone is just proud of the work we have done and the progress we have made."


"The fans only see the tip of the iceberg, of what happens here at the Stadium of Light. We are trying to implement a first class structure behind the team, a structure that gives the players everything they need to perform. We want to develop this structure, and make it world class."


"As a football fan you want to feel an affinity with the team, and you want that team to represent what you're all about. Some of my proudest moments are seeing supporters bond with the players, because it shows a real togetherness within the club. We have some really good young men, who are here for the right reasons. They want to perform for themselves, their families and the football club. The Lads are really enjoying being involved with Sunderland, just look at the support we get up and down the country, I don’t think you could not love being part of that. I was driving away from Blackpool, when it was cold and wet and I saw all of our players taking photos with our supporters. That’s a really nice thing I see recurring."

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