Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has revealed that Lee Johnson will remain in charge of the club next season.
In an interview with talkSPORT, the 24-year-old Black Cats majority shareholder gave his backing to the incumbent Sunderland manager, suggesting that, while he was disappointed with the play-off semi-final defeat against Lincoln City, he would not be making any impulsive decisions over the 39-year-old’s future.
Louis-Dreyfus said: “I was disappointed, like everyone else, that the season didn’t finish as we expected it to finish. Anything can happen in the play-offs and unfortunately we fell short, but I think the players deserve credit.
“Lee Johnson was a long-term appointment from the start and we all knew, regardless of the outcome this season, he would be with us next season. I think he’s the right man to lead us to promotion.”
Following the disappointment of the defeat in the play-off semi-finals, it was reported that Louis-Dreyfus was considering Johnson’s position ahead of the club’s third consecutive season in League One, however, these latest comments would appear to put any doubt regarding the manager’s job to bed.
It could easily be argued that this is a good decision by the club’s owner, as the 39-year-old showed that he is more than capable of getting a tune out of the Sunderland team, having led his side on a run of 12 straight league games without defeat earlier in the season, before a number of injuries suffered by several key players derailed the club’s promotion push somewhat.
Furthermore, Johnson also ended the club’s 48-year wait for a victory at Wembley this term, with his side lifting the Papa John’s Trophy back in March.
However, whether or not the Mackem fanbase view Louis-Dreyfus’ backing of the former Bristol City boss as a good thing is debatable, as footage emerged shortly after the play-off loss that appeared to show a number of fans extremely unhappy with the 39-year-old.
On the other hand, a number of Sunderland fans on Twitter appeared to give their backing to the manager, with one stating that he is “100% behind” Johnson ahead of next season, while another called for their fellow Black Cats supporters to “back this guy.”
As such, it would seem as if the fans are somewhat split as to whether they agree with Louis-Dreyfus’ backing of Johnson, and only time will tell to determine which of the faction will prove to be right.