JIMMY WALKER has left Sunderland’s coaching staff to join Paul Lambert’s new set-up at Ipswich Town.

The goalkeeping coach only joined the Black Cats in the summer, replacing Adrian Tucker, but has opted to move on again after just five months on Wearside.

The move to Ipswich enables him to be closer to his family, and Sunderland are expected to complete the appointment of his successor shortly.

“It was a very difficult decision for me, as I have loved every minute at Sunderland and it’s a fantastic club,” said Walker.

“Being away from my family in recent months has been challenging so I would like to thank everyone at the club, especially the manager and staff, for their understanding. I wish the club and the fans every success for the rest of the season.”

Walker has worked closely with Jon McLaughlin in recent weeks, helping the Scotland international establish himself as Sunderland’s number one.

“We are sad to see Jimmy go but understand his reasons,” said Black Cats boss Jack Ross. “He leaves with our very best wishes for the future.”