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Five Things We Learned From The Trip To Hartlepool

The Black Cats preseason campaign is starting to take shape, so our resident expert in insight Luke Bowley took us through what we can take out of last night's match.

Richard Sellers

1. Sunderland Probably Need To Sign Some Full Backs

In their game against Hartlepool last night, Gus Poyet's team lined up with winger Duncan Watmore at right back and youngster David Ferguson at left back. Watmore is not an out-an-out right back, while Ferguson has no first team Football League experience, and this suggests that the club probably need to sign some more full-backs before the season gets underway. Hopefully manager Gus Poyet and Sporting Director Lee Congerton have noticed this, and will sign some footballers who can play in these positions.

2. Give youth a chance...or don't

As only the most eagle-eyed of Sunderland experts will have noticed, the Black Cats made eleven changes on the sixty minute mark, bringing on a lot of fresh faced players, many of whom had terrible facial hair, and appeared to get nervous whenever they noticed an attractive girl in the crowd. These footballers are known as youth players, and they gave a pretty good account of themselves on the pitch; in particularly George Honeyman, Mikael Mandron, and goalscorer Carl Lawson. In fact it was these youth players that scored all of the goals in the game, so perhaps we should give more of them a chance in the first team. Alternatively, we might also take into account the nature of the opposition, and the fact their players had already been on the pitch for an hour and might have been tired, and point out that these youth players might not be as good as they appeared, and that we should be wary of playing them in the Premier League.

3. Max Clayton will sign for Sunderland if Gus Poyet has been impressed with him

Those Sunderland fans who are not experts might not have noticed there was a player on the pitch who isn't actually contracted to the club. It's true that he was wearing the same shirt as the rest of the players, and therefore appeared to be a Sunderland footballer, but in fact he is something that is known as a 'trialist'. This means an out-of-contract footballer who is training with the club, and can take part in preseason friendlies, so that the manager can take a look at him and see if he's the type of player he'd quite like at their respective club. If Gus Poyet likes this 'Trialist' or 'Max Clayton' as he is unofficially called, there is a good chance that he will try and sign him.

4. Sunderland supporters really want to sign Fabio Borini

At one point in the first half, Sunderland fans in one end of Victoria Park began to sing the name of last year's star loanee and this summer's key target Fabio Borini. From this, it is safe to assume that the supporters would really like to see their club sign the Italian.

5. The HMS Trincomalee was sent to action during the Crimean War

The Crimean War (1853-1856) was a military conflict fought between the British, French and Ottoman Empires against the Russian Empire, with the majority of the conflict taken place in the Crimea region. During the war, the HMS Trincomalee joined a squadron of eleven Anglo-French ships sent around the North Pacific to destroy Russian frigates. It also helped to protect trade routes, sail prisoners for exchange, and was used to help rescue the captured wife of the Siberian Governor.

(Courtesy of the Hartlepool Maritime Museum)