Bain and O’Shea speak out
Chief Executive Martin Bain has been talking exclusively to the Times this weekend, and he spoke specifically about the daily rigours of the job he took on just over one year ago at the Stadium of Light.
In his conversation with George Caulkin, the Scotsman talked about the pressures of handling such an important role at a club going through huge changes:
Change, It’s all I’ve done since I’ve arrived. We’ve had three managers and, unfortunately, nearly 70 people have left.
I used to make the joke last season that if we got a win I’d go home and open the curtains.
I do feel a weight of expectation. I realise I’m a focal point. When I drive into that car park, or if I’m in the city centre, you feel people looking at you, thinking, ‘Come on, help us be what we should be’.
I’ve felt it more in this job than any other I’ve had. More than Rangers, because Rangers won.
And on Sunderland’s aims for the season, he said:
Promotion, obviously but the other is to put a smile on people’s faces. That’s been lost.
The criteria for a new manager wasn’t affordability but getting somebody who was going to roll their sleeves up and say ‘I’m having some of this.’
Simon wanted it. The club felt stagnant.
We have to anchor our wonderful heritage, but we also have to evolve.
Our club captain, John O’Shea, also spoke to The Times and showed that his passion for our club is not waning, despite having to make do with a bit-part role this season.
As a Sunderland player, it’s that old adage: lace your boots, stand up. I’m proud to be here. You never lose sight of the club’s stature.
Whilst O’Shea has certainly divided opinion since arriving at Sunderland, he has been a wonderful servant for the club over the years and with a long season ahead we can expect to see him a few times more as the games come thick and fast over the coming months.
The rest of the article, which you can find here, is a fantastic read and I urge you all to feast your eyes on it.
According to the Northern Echo, Simon Grayson is keen on three players in particular as the transfer window draws to a close - Robert Snodgrass, Grant Leadbitter and Ross McCormack.
Middlesbrough midfielder Leadbitter has been linked on and off with a move back to his hometown club for a number of weeks now but nothing concrete has come of it, whilst our understanding regarding Ross McCormack is that a deal is edging closer.
Snodgrass has been told that he can leave West Ham, despite only arriving there in January from Hull City, and in the aftermath of our poor home defeat to Leeds on Saturday evening the Sunderland manager commented on the speculation linking the Scotland international with a move to Wearside:
I can you tell you now we won’t be buying Robert Snodgrass because of the fee and the wages that come with it. The only way we would get Robert Snodgrass is a loan deal or something like that.
There won’t be too many clubs who can afford him in the Championship and if they do then they have some serious money behind him. I like him, though, like a lot of other managers.
We will ask the question about his availability but it will be affected by finances whoever takes him, I’m 99 per cent sure nobody in the Championship will afford his full wages.
Costa Rica international Bryan Oviedo will play in tomorrow’s game away at Carlisle United in the Carabao Cup - welcome news to those of us that watched Brendan Galloway’s performance against Leeds United on Saturday.
Oviedo missed out on the entirety of our pre-season campaign through a leg injury sustained whilst on international duty with Costa Rica this summer, and since returning to full training he has just an hour of football under his belt having played for our U23s against Tottenham Hotspur last week.
Speaking on injuries, Grayson said:
Oviedo is making good progress and will be in the squad on Tuesday. (Jack) Rodwell is still to come back, as will (Paddy) McNair and (Duncan) Watmore. Hopefully, we’ll also have one or two additions.
Sunderland’s squad should look completely different one month from now - provided of course everything goes to plan.
Carabao Cup & Carlisle tickets
There are still some remaining tickets for our trip to Carlisle United tomorrow night - if you fancy the short trip, there’s still time to get tickets on the club official website.
The 3rd round draw for the Carabao Cup will take place at 4:15am on Thursday, August 24th in China - Weird. The previous two draws for the earlier rounds were a disaster, so it should be interesting to see if third time is indeed lucky.
I know I won’t be waiting up to find out!