Sam Allardyce has revamped the Sunderland coaching structure, making his first outside appointment since joining the club.
Paul Bracewell, who had three spells at Sunderland as a player and was first team coach under Dick Advocaat, has been appointed Allardyce's assistant manager, while Robbie Stockdale's impressive success with Sunderland's table-topping under-21s has earned him a promotion to the senior coaching staff.
It will be Bracewell's second stint as Sunderland number two after holding the position under Peter Reid in the mid-90s.
Allardyce, who is famed for his scientific approach to football analysis and preperation, has also brought in a 'performance director' in the shape of Mark Taylor, who he worked with at Bolton.
The over-arching role will see Taylor take responsibility for key areas of the club’s football operation, including sports science, strength and conditioning, medical, performance analysis and the first-team coaching staff.
Taylor arrives on Wearside with a wealth of experience spanning over 20 years in English football. During that time he has worked with a host of clubs and number of top managers.
Speaking about the appointment, manager Sam Allardyce said:
"Areas such as sports science and performance analysis are absolutely crucial in the modern game. Mark has a tremendous amount of experience and expertise in these key disciplines and he will help us to ensure that our players reach their maximum potential.
"I am delighted to welcome Mark to the club."
"I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work with Sam again, especially at a club with such a great history and tradition. I was born and brought up in the North East so this appointment takes on an extra special resonance for me.
"There is a good group of players and staff at the club. Of course we all recognise we are in a special situation at the moment and we know we need to improve. That is the challenge ahead for me and everyone involved with the first-team and I can’t wait to get started."