Ian Harte has conceded that while the Sunderland players like Michael Beale’s coaching, they had a real connection with previous boss Tony Mowbray.


Mowbray led Sunderland to the Championship playoff spots last season but he was sacked earlier in the season in a controversial move.


The decision to sack him was not popular amongst a large section of the Sunderland fans and he had huge support within the dressing room.




Beale’s start as Sunderland manager has been marked by inconsistency but the club are still sitting tenth in the table and four points behind the playoff spots.


Harte, who is Sunderland star Jack Clarke’s agent, admitted that the Black Cats players do like their new manager in terms of his ability as a coach on the training pitch.



However, they remain emotionally connected to Mowbray as the ex-Sunderland boss was a father figure to several of the players.


Clarke’s agent said on the No Tippy Tappy Football podcast: “Michael, I think, is a very good coach.



“He worked with Steven Gerrard at Rangers and Villa.


“Spoke to a few of the Sunderland players and they say he is a very good coach but the players like Tony.


“He was like a father figure to them.”


Mowbray’s Birmingham side beat Sunderland 2-1 at St. Andrew’s over the weekend.


The Blues boss is taking six to eight weeks off at present to deal with a health issue.