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ROKER ROUNDUP: Sunderland assistant manager defends comments about standard of Scottish football

Sunderland assistant manager James Fowler has defended comments he made about the standard of Scottish Football having received criticism for what he said from sections of the media north of the border.

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Fowler defends comments

Sunderland’s assistant manager James Fowler has received criticism back in Scotland after he gave interview with the BBC.

During the interview, Fowler compared the teams we’ve played so far, Charlton Athletic and Luton Town, with the Scottish Premiership and said the quality is not too dissimilar.

From what we’ve seen so far, I’d say League One is similar to the top league in Scotland.

Celtic and Rangers will believe they could play in the Premier League given the money they get down here.

It’s probably relative to the money you bring in and the size of the clubs but Sunderland’s a massive club in this division and it’s our aim to get up the leagues as quickly as possible.

Those fairly innocuous comments did not go down too well north of the border, with the chief sports writer of BBC Scotland being particularly irked and resorting to both untruths and Simon Graysons to make his point.

Fowler felt the need to defend himself on Twitter from those who felt the need to criticise based off a headline rather than what he actually said.

Poyet suspended

Former Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has been suspended for a week by Bordeaux after he gave a controversial press conference where he complained about the club selling a player without his knowledge.

According to Poyet, Bordeaux sold Gaëtan Laborde to Montpellier from under his nose, despite the Uruguayan demanding the the club bring in a replacement for the striker first.

Speaking about the suspension, the president of the French club Stephane Martin said Poyet overstepped the mark and thought he was boss of the club:

We think he overstepped the mark in Thursday’s post-match press conference so the club took this decision.

The start of the transfer window brought some tension. But it is a surprise after a win to have such a violent outburst, so we took the action that, in my opinion, had to be taken.

There was behaviour where he thought he was the boss of the club. That’s not the case - I’m the boss at the club with the owners and the shareholders.

Poyet had been linked with a move for Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole, although he has since distanced himself from that rumour.

You can watch the press conference in it’s entirety below.

Sunderland v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

European return for Jozy?

Jozy Altidore could be set for a return to European shores this summer, with clubs in both Italy and France interested in the striker’s services.

ESPN FC report that a Serie A and a Ligue 1 club both want to sign the 28-year-old but no Italian move materialised last night as their window closed but French clubs have until the end of the month to make new signings.

Since joining Toronto FC in a swap-deal that saw Jermain Defoe come the other way, Altidore has scored 56 goals in 107 games in all competitions, which stands in stark contrast to his struggles at Sunderland where he could only score three goals in a two-year spell.

Sunderland v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Gomez heads to pastures new

Former Sunderland midfielder Jordi Gomez has joined Cypriot outfit AC Omonoia.

The 33-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the team who finished 6th in the First Division last season.

He had been playing for Bulgarian side Levski Sofia and had already played four times for the club this season. including their Europa League tie with FC Vaduz, which the Swiss side won on away goals after the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate.

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Matthew Ashton/Getty Images

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