JUST IN: The club has officially concluded negotiations to extend Tony Mowbray’s contract.

Says Joseph Tulip
I believe this is fantastic news for us on many levels, not the least of which is the fact that Mowbray is an accomplished head coach at this level with a history of fostering the growth of young players.

His connections to Middlesbrough may have even benefited us because he is familiar with North East football and knew going into the position that Sunderland was a club with a rich history and tremendous potential.

Mowbray’s appointment feels somewhat consoling because he is a traditional football player who has changed with the times. It seems as though we are in good hands with an experienced leader in charge, someone who obviously enjoys dealing with young players and building a team.

Mogga has bonded with the supporters, much like his new captain Luke O’Nien, and was truly thrilled when my wife Jayne gave him a box of Jaffa Cakes at a recent talk-in session.

I recognize that there was some uncertainty regarding his future over the summer, but according to Kristjaan Speakman, there was never any validity to rumors suggesting Mowbray might leave the club.

No smoke without fire? Who knows for certain, but I’m minded to trust the people who are running our football club, and they’ve backed up their statement with a new contract for Mowbray.

I’m also pleased that Speakman has handed the team another season without too much expectation, so let’s get behind Mowbray and his side as they continue to progress – and enjoy the football being produced on the pitch.

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Kelvin Beattie says…
I was chuffed to see this development.

Like many, I was a tad underwhelmed at his appointment and I imagined him as a bit of a flat-capped football dinosaur who didn’t have a lot of success on his managerial CV.

However, it didn’t take too long for me to recognise my error of judgement, which was probably coloured by his spell at Celtic.

His successful spells at Hibernian, West Brom, Blackburn and Sunderland have all been characterised by a pacy, ‘tika taka’-style of flowing football and the nurturing of a good sprinkling of young aspirational players.

The extension is reward for a job well done. It does create a bit of stability and it sends a positive message- not only to the playing squad, but to the fans as well.

Mowbray’s ability to function and thrive within the ‘model’ and his panache for working with and nurturing young players has been a bit of a match made in heaven, given where the club is at and where it wants to be.

There are of course tensions (what workplace doesn’t have these?), but he appears to handle these well, with forthright calmness and a bit of gentle humour.

I hope the extension included provisions for a bar or two of Cadbury’s finest, because he deserves it!

Malc Dugdale says…

I think it’s the right decision for both Mowbray and Sunderland.

We’ve just injected another dose of youth into the squad during the summer and he’s the best man to shape and assess that during the next eighteen months and more.

He clearly loves to nurture and develop young stars, and he’s doing a great job at that, as he has for some time.

Although he may not be the ideal head coach for us should we go up in the not-too-distant future, he’s done enough for me to suggest the club should show faith in him.

If he gets us up this season, he deserves a chance to show how he can perform in the top flight. There have been and will be worse coaches at the top level, and the team certainly seems to enjoy playing for him.

The supporters are witnessing some of our best football in years as we’re in a strong spot. Since it isn’t broken, why fix it?

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