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ROKER ROUNDUP: MLS coach denies link to Sunderland gaffer’s job & club set to improve facilities

Anthony Hudson has dismissed rumours of a Sunderland move; mixed news for Sunderland’s accessibility, and duo called up while Robson misses out on loan.

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MLS coach downplays Sunderland rumour

Colorado Rapids’ head coach Anthony Hudson was recently linked with the Sunderland manager’s job, with reports suggesting he was on a shortlist of four.

As well as Hudson, that rumoured shortlist included Wigan manager Paul Cook, Michael Appleton - who is currently the assistant manager at Leicester - and the overwhelming favourite, Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder.

Paul Cook recently signed a new contract at Wigan, which likely removes him from the running, and now Hudson has downplayed talk of him talking over the reigns at the Stadium of Light, with the former New Zealand manager responding to a direct question regarding the rumours linking him to the Sunderland job:

My life right now is the Colorado Rapids. I am just dying to get this team to where we want it to be. I want to be here for a long time. I want to build something special here. I communicate that regularly to Pádraig [Smith - Colorado Rapids’ vice president and general manager].

I communicate that regularly because I know where we are now. I know what needs to happen. I know the changes we need to make. I know what this team can be. I want to see it through; I want to be here for a long time. I’m not thinking about anything else.

Mixed report on Sunderland by the Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission have released a report on whether Premier League clubs meet their responsibilities under the 2010 Equality Act, which ensures those clubs make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

The club are included in the report due to being in the Premier League when the assessment began, but have received a mixed report from the commission.

Sunderland were the first Premier League team to install a sensory room, which provides a place to watch the match for children with sensory impairments and autism, with a second, larger sensory room available since March. The club works with special needs schools and local organisations to identify children who would benefit from the sensory room, with the aim of getting those children - with appropriate support - to transition from the sensory room to the viewing platform outside the room or to the main stands.

Although the club were credited for their work with the sensory room, they were also one of only four clubs - Manchester United, Hull City and Crystal Palace being the others - to decline a request to enter into an informal agreement with the commission due to staff changes and relegation to League One.

The club said they do still plan on improving their provisions, but will not meet the Accessible Stadia Guidelines in some areas.

Sunderland have no plans to increase the number of wheelchair places at the Stadium of Light as the club feels it is reasonable for them to not spend money on installing additional wheelchair user spaces due to the provision they currently offer having never sold out, and have instead spent money on improvements requested by our disabled fans.

The club will install Changing Places toilets ahead of the new season, which will make the club the last of the clubs assessed to have those toilets installed. Changing Places toilets are larger than standard accessible toilet facilities, which include a hoist, an adjustable changing bench and are large enough to accommodate users who need large, complex wheelchairs or who may require additional equipment.

Overall, although, the stadium has a shortfall in some areas, and the report says the club must try to make sure they focus on the most important issues raised by the fans.

You can read the full report HERE.

Duo called up

Sunderland duo Adam Matthews and Paddy McNair have been called up for interntional duty by Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

Matthews is part of a relatively inexperienced Wales squad that will travel to California to take on a Mexico side that will be preparing for the upcoming World Cup. Wales will be missing Gareth Bale and Ben Woodburn due to their Champions League commitments, and James Chester and Neil Taylor due to Aston Villa’s appearance in the Championship Play Off Final. Should Matthews be selected it will be his 15th cap for Wales.

Meanwhile, Paddy McNair has been selected in the Northern Ireland squad to take on Costa Rica and Panama in a Central American tour. McNair will be hoping to add to his 17 caps as they face England’s group opponents Panama on May 30 and could come up against his Sunderland team-mate Bryan Oviedo when they play Costa Rica on June 3.

Wales v Northern Ireland - International Friendly Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Robson misses out

Finally, Josh Robson was an unused subsitute as his loan team Notodden FK lost 1-0 against Jerv in the OBOS-ligaen.

Notodden had chances to take the lead in the first half but were under the cosh in the second half, and the home side made Nottoden pay for their missed chances in the 64th minute when Jerv’s Espen Knudsen scored from a corner.

That result leaves Notodden in 6th place in the Norwegian second division; hopefully, Robson will make an appearance in their next match against Ullensaker/Kisa IL on Monday.

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