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Sunderland defender insists he is very happy on Wearside as Chris Coleman denies rift

Bryan Oviedo - in an interview with a Costa Rican TV station - has insisted that he is happy at Sunderland and remains focused on earning his spot in Costa Rica’s World Cup squad.

Bryan Oviedo in action during United States Vs Costa Rica
Corbis via Getty Images

Sunderland left back Bryan Oviedo has - in an interview with Costa Rican TV company Teletica - revealed that is is happy playing for Sunderland and is motivated to improve.

Despite Sunderland’s rotten form this season the former Everton man has been one of our stronger performers, particularly when Simon Grayson was manager, and remains focused on keeping himself fit and playing regular in order to ensure he makes Costa Rica’s 23-man squad for this summer’s World Cup finals.

Oviedo faces a real battle to keep his spot in the Costa Rica side, with New York City’s Rónald Matarrita preferred recently at left wing back by head coach Óscar Ramírez, and as such is keen to get his head down and impress his manager by playing regularly in the Championship.

Altidore v Oviedo
Corbis via Getty Images

In his conversation with Teletica, Oviedo said;

Personally I’m very happy, I’m playing, I’m doing things right; I think that motivates me a lot to get better game after game, in every training session, to be able to give it my best, grow and be at 100% for May and June.

I think it is very important to get in a rhythm for the World Cup and being here in Sunderland gives me a good rhythm and lots of confidence.

Here at Roker Report we revealed earlier this week that 31-times capped international had apparently ‘refused’ to take his place on the bench for the game with Brentford last weekend after being told he had been dropped.

Having started the previous game Oviedo was dropped from the squad completely, with Chris Coleman citing ‘tactical reasons’ as to why the former Copenhagen man wasn’t involved. Jake Clarke-Salter - traditionally a left-sided centre back - was preferred in his place as the Black Cats went on to lose the fixture 2-0.

The Sunderland manager, however, has denied that there had been a rift;

That wasn’t Bryan’s choice, that was my choice. He never refused (to be in the squad), at all. Bryan is a nice boy – too nice sometimes. That was a tactical decision by myself.

Having checked this news with our source we are told that this is more than likely just a case of the Sunderland manager ‘protecting the player and the squad’, perhaps indicating that Coleman would rather just move on quickly from whatever went on.