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Gus Poyet welcomes Lee Congerton to Sunderland as sporting director

• Manager expects to influence Congerton's thinking
• Congerton comes as highly rated operator

Lee Congerton's appointment as Sunderland's new sporting director has been hailed as potentially the club's best signing in years but Gus Poyet hopes he does not enjoy too much autonomy.

Although Sunderland's manager broadly welcomes the arrival of the highly rated former Hamburg technical director and Chelsea chief scout, Poyet has emphasised that, when it comes to player recruitment, he expects to influence Congerton's thinking.

"The club made a decision but I was only involved at the last stage," said Sunderland's manager. "I met Lee for the first time this week and I'm looking forward to working with him.

"The more he understands me, the better for the club. If not, it's not going to work. From my viewpoint it's clear: I know what I need and my information is very precise.

"When I ask for a player, I don't just want someone who is 6ft 3in and can head the ball – there are 250,000 people like that. I want a specific player. That's going to be hard work – the only bad part for Lee. I will be specific. But I think we need a director of football."

Congerton replaces Roberto De Fanti, Sunderland's former director of football, who was sacked in January after six disappointing months in the job.


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