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Roker Roundup: Joel Lynch on Sunderland players’ first impressions of Lee Johnson

The former Sunderland defender’s been speaking about Jack Ross, Phil Parkinson and his former teammates’ early impressions of our new head coach.

Roker Roundup 20/21
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Lynch discusses Sunderland spell

Joel Lynch is still a free agent after being released by Sunderland at the end of last season, once the season had been called to an early end thanks to Covid-19.

He has had trained with Bolton Wanderers, Southend United and Charlton Athletic as he looks for a new club and has spoken to Football League World about the difficulties of being a free agent in the current climate.

Lynch also discussed his spell at the Stadium of Light, how he could not turn the opportunity down, and how he thinks Phil Parkinson was never the man to take Sunderland up to the Championship:

I was so desperate to stay in the Championship to prove my point and show I was still up to it and then Sunderland came in and because of the size of the club and the potential it has, it was a no brainer for me to sign at the time.

A lot of players that have been in and out of the club realise the pressure and the expectations that are placed upon them there, it’s something that was tough to handle at times.

I got a bad injury towards the end there and I was taken to hospital, etc. and then I got back to full fitness and then COVID hit, so I never really got to prove my point there and earn myself another year.

It was a disappointing time for me, but it was a good experience. It’s a crazy club, they desperately want to get out of that league, but it’s not as easy as that, the pressure on the players in League One at Sunderland is immense, it’s completely different to play for them as opposed to any other club I’ve played for before.

I do think he’s [Lee Johnson] the kind of guy that can get them up, you look at what he did at Bristol City and they were definitely one of the best teams in the Championship at that time.

I’ve spoken to a couple of the lads recently and they’ve said great stuff about him, but again it’s just about the fact that it’s such a high-pressured job, it’s literally win or nothing, they’re so desperate to get back to where they deserve to be.

The squad they have is much better than any of the other club in League One I think, and they need to get back to the Championship under the new manager because I don’t think the last manager [Phil Parkinson] was the guy to do it.

Speaking of Parkinson, while talking about his time at Nottingham Forest, Lynch explains how difficult it is when a team changes managers on a regular basis and uses the example of Jack Ross signing him for Sunderland, only to be placed with a manager who he did not get on with:

It is hard when a club goes through a lot of managers, for example when I went to Sunderland, I was really excited to work with Jack Ross who signed me and then he got fired after three games and then another manager came in and I didn’t get on that well with him.

Lynch also spoke about his belief that Ross should never been sacked by the club and you can read that HERE.

Portsmouth v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Important moment for Poyet

Gus Poyet was appointed head coach of Chilean club Universidad Catolica earlier this week, signing a deal that will see him manage the club through the 2021 season.

Speaking to the club’s website regarding his appointment, Poyet revealed that he decided to join the club after discussions with the club’s board gave him a feeling that he was missing when he had been linked with other clubs since departing Bordeaux in 2018:

I think it is an important moment in my career, I was looking for the people to work with and the best possible club.

In this case I have felt very comfortable in conversations with all those who participated in these days of communications, people who have treated me well, who have touched me very deeply and on top of that a top-level South American team such as Universidad Católica.

The things that I was looking for some time ago came together and that for one reason or another sometimes did not happen, but I think it is also something personal the fact of being able to go to South America and be able to impose a little what I like and that has worked out quite well for me in almost all the clubs I have been to.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-BORDEAUX Photo credit should read NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images

Abdelkader explains Algerian move

Former Sunderland goalkeeper Ahmed Abdelkader headed to Algeria in the summer to sign for top flight outfit Belouizdad on a free transfer.

The 22-year-old was born in Brest, France, but qualifies for Algeria through his parents and Abdelkader spoke to French outlet Le Telegramme and explained that the move to Belouizdad came about because they had a project for him and that the chance to get in the thoughts of the Algerian national team was a key factor:

After Sunderland, I had quite a few contacts. I’d been to the Netherlands, I also had a few touches in England, but in reality it wasn’t concrete, it spoke volumes. Belouizdad became interested in me and I felt that the club really wanted me, that they had a project for me.

I signed for three years, they will let me take my time. They told me, we have a sports project, we’ll buy you, you come. And if we can boost your career, make you take a step forward so that you can go back to Europe, afterwards, then everyone will be a winner

In Algeria, they were already talking a lot about me before I got there, because the international team’s goalkeepers are old and there aren’t many young people in reserve.

My main goal is to play for the national team, to grow up here in the eyes of Algeria before that I must impose myself in the club.

Here, I respect everyone, and everyone respects me. I didn’t come here to get a big head.