International manager talks trialist
Sunderland trialist Gael Andonian missed out on international duty with Armenia this week due to lack of playing time.
The 23-year-old has 22 caps for his country and speaking ahead of his team’s international fixtures against Liechtenstein and FYR Macedonia, Armenia’s manager Vardan Minasyan expressed his surprise at the player dropping down to a third tier and even suggested the defender join an Armenian club:
I know that Andonian is in Sunderland, but if he had one or two meetings, he would join us. I told him that he was a great footballer and could not play in the 3rd division of France. Even I suggested playing in the Armenian League but he chose to stay in Europe.
Two familiar faces train with Fleetwood
Two familiar faces have started training with Fleetwood Town ahead of our game against Joey Barton’s team on Saturday.
Former Sunderland winger Ross Wallace and ex-Newcastle defender Ryan Taylor have both rocked up at the Cod Army’s Poolfoot base this week as they seek to find new clubs.
Barton says although it’s not a guarantee he’ll sign the pair, he believes just their presence in training will improve the team:
Both out of contract, both good players. I played with Tayls at Newcastle, so I know his qualities.
We have just got them in, and I think that if you have players who have played in the leagues above in training, then they bring the level up.
If they show a desire to be here and we think it is an upgrade on what we have got, then we will explore that.
The same with Wes Hoolahan. We had Wes in, a similar kind of thing.
If you can improve your team you have to. If you are not moving forwards in this game you are moving backwards.
Steele shines on Brighton debut
Jason Steele made his Brighton & Hove Albion debut on Tuesday night as their under-21 side lost 2-1 at Luton Town.
The goalkeeper had seen Mat Ryan selected for Brighton’s Premier League fixtures and even David Button selected ahead of him in the Carabao Cup but he made an impact against Luton and drew praise from both managers, with Luton’s Nathan Jones complimenting Steele:
Their keeper made some top saves. We needed something brilliant or lucky to beat him.
Brighton’s under-21 coach also praised Steele’s ‘magnificent’ display:
I thought the lads show professionalism, it was a magnificent performance by Steeley in goal and we had our moments. It’s a hard game for us. We look at the positives. I thought the boys showed some really great character.