Vive la Revolution! The Regis Le Bris era is under way on Wearside.

Sunderland fans got their first opportunity to hear from the new head coach this week as the Frenchman started work at the Academy of Light.

Le Bris had had only a handful of training sessions with the squad and is still settling into his surroundings, so it would be unfair to expect him to come up with detailed answers to every question thrown at him when he met the media on Wednesday.

But we did learn some important things about his approach to the job.

He will not be bringing with him any members of staff from his former club Lorient, but the exact make-up of his backroom team at Sunderland remains a point of discussion.

He is comfortable with the way Sunderland operate in the transfer market but hinted that one or two more experienced recruits are likely to arrive this summer.

And he gave a broad outline of his preferred style of play - high tempo, an aggressive high press, contributing to attractive, attacking, football - and said that instilling that recipe into the players would be his number one priority.

So far, so good.


READ MORE: Every word from Régis Le Bris' first press conference: Staff, style of play and ambition


Overall, he made a good impression in his first outing in front of the cameras and assembled scribes. And, crucially, he seems to have made a good impression on supporters who watched the live stream of his press conference.

Because, as I wrote last week, Sunderland fans will give him an even break but, beyond that, it is up to him to dictate the narrative and to that end engaging supporters and convincing them that better times lie ahead is vital.

He has begun that process in his initial public appearance and in the coming days, weeks, and months, he will have the opportunity to flesh out his ideas and, more importantly, back them up with results.

All that will come a little further down the line.

In the meantime, after several months of drift, supporters are just pleased to see the club regain a sense of direction.

From Le Bris’ appointment to the release of the popular new Hummel retro-inspired home shirt and the completely revamped club shop, there has been a shift in the mood.

It continued this week with the welcome news that the teenage academy graduate and rising star Chris Rigg has signed his first professional contract with the club, with Sunderland fighting off fierce competition to tie the England U18 international down for three years.

Chris Rigg signed his first professional deal with SunderlandChris Rigg signed his first professional deal with Sunderland (Image: Ian Horrocks)

A key factor in Rigg’s decision will have undoubtedly been the first-team chances he has been afforded over the last two seasons.

From his initial baby-steps in the FA Cup as a 15-year-old 18 months ago to his involvement in almost half of last season’s Championship fixtures, the midfielder had made 25 senior appearances and scored three goals, all before celebrating his 17th birthday last month.

Other clubs may have been able to throw more money at him, but few could offer the first team opportunities he has had - and will continue to have - at Sunderland.

Rigg’s new contract is a huge plus, but the future of other key players remain under discussion.

Talks continue over a new deal for Dan Neil, while Jack Clarke and Anthony Patterson are coveted by other clubs who are likely to test Sunderland’s resolve as the transfer window wears on.

Aside from keeping hold of their star men, Sunderland need to step up their recruitment in the weeks ahead to address the very obvious weaknesses in the squad and to give Le Bris time to integrate and work with the new signings before the season begins.

But with Le Bris in-post and Rigg on board, Sunderland have made an encouraging start to July. They must keep on building momentum.