Colorado Rapids coach Sharpe: Sunderland winger McClean will benefit from Guppy influence

New Sunderland coach Steve Guppy is being backed for success by his former players at Colorado Rapids.

New Sunderland coach Steve Guppy is being backed for success by his former players at Colorado Rapids.

Chris Sharpe, now goalkeeper coach at the Rapids' academy, worked with the former Celtic and Leicester City star.

He told tribalfootball.com: "I was fortunate enough to have Gupps for three seasons as an assistant at the Colorado Rapids. He is a great guy, very approachable. He is a young coach, not too far reserved from playing and obviously with a tremendous playing history at Celtic and Leicester City both under Martin O'Neill."

Guppy is expected to work closely with James McClean at Sunderland.

Sharpe added: "As Steve was a left winger he loves to put the wide players under his wing and really try and mould them. He was very much focused on the 1v1 attacking approach for the wide players, to get at their opposite number, create a little bit of room, then whip in good crosses.

"We had plenty of success here in Colorado with that, as we had big target men in Connor Casey and Caleb Folan. I think much the same goes in England, with big target men and obviously the background Steve comes from.

"Steve was very good at identifying other teams weaknesses and finding ways to exploit that. I feel that came from his playing days. He was a studier of video whether it be game day film or filming his individual players and then going over it with them, which I think in the game these days is a huge advantage.

"All in all he is a wonderful young coach, full of passion for the game and wanting the players under his wing to do well. I certainly enjoyed my time with him here and I hope maybe one day in the future I can work with him again."

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