Jack Ross is relishing the chance to get to know his players and staff during a week-long overseas training camp.
After returning to the Academy of Light on 27 June, the Black Cats will fly to Portugal for an intensive training camp which will form the base for their pre-season plans.
Games against local opposition, including Darlington and Hartlepool United, will follow, with Ross’ plans beginning to take shape following his arrival at the club.
And although his squad could change between the training camp and the Sky Bet League One season, the Sunderland manager explained why the trip to Portugal will stand the Lads in good stead.
“The trip to Portugal was in place before I took the job, but I’m happy it was because it’s an opportunity to spend time with the players and staff.
“It’s 24/7 and that’s beneficial on the pitch as well as off it, so it can only benefit us and I’m pleased it’s there.”
He continued: “It’s part of the challenge [going away with a group that might change before the start of the season].
“I came in with my eyes wide-open to the challenges I would face, but certainly in this initial period, it’s a set of fairly unusual circumstances as normally any manager would tell you they would like to have as much in place as they can.
“Whatever we go with, and whatever we have at that stage, we will make the most of and we’ll get the most we can out of the trip, so they’ll be elements that stand us in good stead.”