After 109 days of silence, Sunderland owner Kyril-Louis-Dreyfus addressed the red and white faithful.

Amid growing unrest online, the Black Cats majority owner revealed the club were in the final stages of talks with prospective candidates.

The red and white faithful have been in the dark over who will be in the dugout at the Stadium of Light next season, over three months on from Michael Beale's sacking. 

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Rejection from Will Still last week did nothing to quell any unrest among the fanbase, rightly irked by their dismal end to the 2023/24 campaign. It was a season where decisions, on and off the pitch, left very little to be desired.

Apathy began to set in on Wearside. It makes a dangerous concoction for a club with aspirations of returning to the Premier League, with results on the pitch going in the opposite direction.

While Louis-Dreyfus has gone on record to apologise over the Black Cats Bar debacle last season, we've heard very little from Sunderland's owner on their search for a new head coach and short-term plan, until now.

"We hope to appoint the next head coach of our great club imminently, as we enter the final stages of the recruitment process," said Louis-Dreyfus in a statement.

"We appreciate the patience and support that we've received from you throughout the summer and our aim has always been to ensure that the right candidate is appointed. That outcome remains our focus.

"On and off the field, we have learnt from last season when we fell short of all our expectations. We are hungry and ambitious for success and determined to ensure we all enjoy a great 2024-25 season together."

Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus. (Image: PA Wire)

While the statement may not address much in the grand scheme of things, it does buy the club more time. Not that it were necessarily needed.

It certainly provides reassurances for some.

If we glance back to the winter and Tony Mowbray's departure, it felt then, that Still was the club's number one target. As it proved again this summer.

After being priced out of a move for the Belgian and appointing Michael Beale in December - a mistake in which the club accepted accountability - the club vowed to learn from that lesson. They could not afford another hasty appointment.

So, when Still became available again this summer, they would have been foolish not to pursue it. Despite a deal being agreed, the young coach turned down the Wearsiders in favour of a move to RC Lens with European football on offer, although that deal is yet to be finalised. That may yet be a blessing in disguise, if they get this appointment right.

Louis-Dreyfus has reiterated the club has learnt from past mistakes. They can't afford a Michael Beale 2.0 appointment.

This time, there's no room for error. 

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Sunderland supporters watched on as their season unravelled in the final few months of the campaign. There can be no repeat.

When he first arrived at the club, the young billionaire acknowledged that he would make mistakes, which he has done. Accepting accountability is the first step, ensuring it doesn't happen again is the next. 

For Sunderland, getting the right head coach in will be the first key factor. So much hinges on the next appointment; the mood on Wearside, transfers and the future of some of those in red and wide.

All the talk of ambition and hunger must start to come to fruition. 

Dave Challinor and Stephen Robinson were two names linked with the vacant role this week, successful in their own right, but not names that would unite a fanbase from the off.

Beale's appointment last season went down like a damp squib with some supporters, it's fair to say some, going off some of the views online, that the appointment of the Stockport County boss or St. Mirren boss would delivered a similar wave of discontent. Regardless of a ball not yet being kicked.

Which is where we find ourselves now.

Having previously ignored the 'outside noise,' Sunderland must take into consideration more than just what the data is showing them.

An exciting appointment that goes some way to building bridges with supporters. Some of whom have already made their mind up on the current ownership, while others are happy to give them more time.

After being linked with the likes of Danny Rohl, one of the Championship's most sought after coaches this summer, it suggests Sunderland have taken that on board. Liam Rosenior, another who had a good rapport with his previous club Hull City and another linked with the Black Cats hotseat.

It's been refreshing to see some positivity around the recently linked Pascal Jansen, the former AZ Alkmaar boss with ideologies deriving from Johan Cruyff.

It certainly feels, on paper at least, that he would be a candidate with a better alignment than some of the other names mentioned.

Still, being one who has spoken critically of former club Reims' transfer dealings. With Sunderland operating withing tight financial parameters and sticking to 'the model', it felt, maybe harshly, that the two parties would clash at some point down the line.

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That's not to say everything should be sunshine and daisies. Sunderland's board needs to be challenged from within.

We've heard in the final few months of the season, that there'll be alterations to the way the club operate this summer. The 'imminent' appointment will be the first real indication of Louis-Dreyfus' vision for Sunderland this season.

For better, or worse.