Sunderland are considering parting ways with Lee Johnson this summer.
That’s according to a report by Football League World, who claim that a Sunderland source has revealed that, following the Black Cats’ play-off semi-final defeat against Lincoln City, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus is contemplating the 39-year-old’s position as manager of the club ahead of next season.
However, the report goes on to state that no decision has been made regarding the former Bristol City boss at present, while also commenting on the Mackems’ apparent displeasure with Johnson following the emergence of footage that appeared to show a confrontation between the Sunderland manager and the club’s fans.
While it is undeniable that failing to beat Lincoln City – a team who Sunderland had picked up four points against in the regular season, with a 5-1 aggregate score over the two fixtures – in the play-off semi-final was a huge disappointment for the club, Johnson has shown in his short time at Sunderland that he can get the best out of the team.
Shortly after being appointed in December of last year, the 39-year-old led the club on a run of 12 straight league games without defeat, with the end of the run coinciding with the loss of a number of first-team players due to injury, none more important than the on-loan Wolverhampton Wanderers centre-back Dion Sanderson.
Furthermore, while it is by no means a major trophy, Sunderland did win the Papa John’s Trophy under the leadership of Johnson this season, ending a 48-year wait for a victory at Wembley.
And, with a pre-season and a summer transfer window ahead of the club this summer, Johnson has a real opportunity to mould the squad into one in his image, something that the former Oldham Athletic boss did not have a chance to do this season – making his achievements appear slightly more impressive.
As such, considering how well Johnson had the team playing earlier this year, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus could be heading for a massive mistake if he does go on to sack the 39-year-old before he has had an extended period of time improve the team – both on the training pitch and in the transfer window – regardless of his failure in the play-offs.