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Sunderland v Carlisle United: EFL Trophy

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Roker Roundup: U23s trialists revealed & could Jon Mellish play for Sunderland one day?

“If he gets those two things better he might end up playing for his beloved Sunderland one day” - Carlisle manager Chris Beech is tipping Jon Mellish to end up at SAFC one day if he continues to improve.

Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Carlisle boss hints at future Sunderland move for star midfielder

Jon Mellish has been starring in midfield for Carlisle United since he switched to a more attacking position near the end of last season, after previously playing as a defender.

Although he had a spell in the Academy of Light as a youngster, Mellish came through the ranks at Gateshead playing either centre-back or left-back, but since his move into midfield with Carlisle he has scored 16 goals this season, two of which came against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in a EFL Trophy game.

His manager at Carlisle, Chris Beech, says the Sunderland fan has a big future in the game and says a move to his boyhood team could be a possibility, once he improves certain aspects of his game:

He needs to tidy his football up but he’s got a big future now as an attacking midfield player.

He knows he needs to work on his decision-making and on staying more emotionally in control. If he gets those two things better he might end up playing for his beloved Sunderland one day. We’ll just have to wait and see on that.

Speaking to the News and Star, Beech said the 23-year-old’s star turn in midfield came about thanks to a bit of foresight from himself, plenty of commitment from Mellish and outlined exactly what the player needs to improve on if he wishes to eventually wear the red and white stripes:

What can I say?

It’s foresight from myself, commitment from the player and an output’s that’s just commendable.

He’s not a refined Premier League player is he, Jon? I spoke to him at length after the Cheltenham fixture that we’ve got to tidy a lot of things up – decisions on the ball, if you play higher and give the ball away, you don’t get it back for five minutes.

No matter what you do if the ball keeps turning over, it doesn’t really matter how good you are – the opposition just destroy you.

We have to tidy that up as a team anyway but individually with Jon, I want his standards higher to that, his first touch, decision-making, staying emotionally in control.

But one thing he is, and I’ve been saying it since I saw what I saw, is [something] that if I was a Carlisle fan I wouldn’t want anything different.

He runs his absolute [socks] off for himself and the club, he wears his badge on his heart, he gives 100 per cent and that’s Jon Mellish.

Sunderland v Carlisle United: EFL Trophy Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Another Northampton youngster joins on trial

Sunderland have had Northampton Town midfielder Tom Scott on trial recently, with the 18-year-old said to be highly impressive during his time at the Academy of Light and is expected to be made a contract offer in the near future.

Scott was an unused substitute in last night’s 0-0 draw with Stoke City in Premier League 2 and he was joined on the Sunderland bench by his Cobblers team-mate Ethan Johnston, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Johnston is also 18 and the striker has already made his debut for the Northampton first-team in the EFL Cup fixture at Bristol City earlier in the season, has featured on the bench in both League One and the EFL Trophy and has had short loan spells with both Redditch United and Kettering Town this season.

Northampton Town v West Bromwich Albion U23 - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Clegg reveals what Roy Keane wanted to create

Former Sunderland strength and conditioning coach Mike Clegg spent 12 years at Sunderland after being brought to the club by Roy Keane and has been speaking about the experience with Manchester United’s official website.

Clegg is now back at United but told the club site that Keane hired him as he wanted to emulate the same success and will to win that was present during the Irishman’s spell at Old Trafford:

When Roy Keane became the manager of Sunderland in 2006, he asked me to help him create ultimately what my father had created at United. He wanted to replicate that same feeling, that same creativity, ambition to win, enthusiasm and ultimately success at the Stadium of Light. If you’re trying to run a successful organisation then you need other like-minded people around you, so he asked me to join him. It’s always nice to get a job offer, but when that offer comes from Roy Keane, there’s no doubt about it, it feels great.

I spent 12 years at Sunderland in the end, working for some really influential managers and with some decent sports scientists and physios. There’s a lot to learn from that, and ultimately you get a really broad brush of how to speak to players, how to manage yourself and ultimately what does and doesn’t work. As a practitioner you’re always trying new things, some you never do again, some you always go back to and power has always been the key to success in my mind.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images
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