Jewison Bennette is currently on international duty with the Costa Rican national team, as he looks to impress their new head coach, Gustavo Alfaro.
While the winger is away with his country, he spoke to journalist Maynor Solano (via futbolcentroamerica) and revealed that his time at Sunderland has become a ‘bit more difficult’ due to the lack of confidence in him from Tony Mowbray:
So far it has been quite complicated, because when the coach doesn’t have so much confidence in you, it becomes a bit more difficult. However, I strive every day to work in the best way possible.
So far this season the 19-year-old has only played 79 minutes across two games, 9 against Southampton in the Championship where he provided an assist for Chris Rigg, and 70 during a start against Crewe Alexandra in the EFL Cup.
Ballard full of praise for team-mate
Dan Ballard has also been speaking whilst on international duty but the central defender has been praising his Sunderland and Northern Ireland team-mate Trai Hume.
Speaking to Belfast Live, Ballard says he is expecting Northern Ireland fans to take to Hume as much as Sunderland fans have, due to the right back being a fantastic player and the fact he loves a tackle:
He’s been brilliant for us. He came from nowhere last season; he wasn’t playing too much, got his chance and he really took it.
I’ve played next to him for a year-and-a-half now. He’s a fantastic player, a real technician, someone who Northern Ireland are really lucky to have.
I think he has a wonderful future. We know each other very, very well.
I know what he likes to do, he likes to move into midfield a lot. You can trust someone a lot more when you have built up that relationship, I feel comfortable and we’ve got a good chemistry.
Trai is playing in the Championship, he loves a tackle and I think Northern Ireland will enjoy that as much as Sunderland fans do.
More trouble for Ndong
It’s been many years since Didier Ndong left Sunderland in ignominious circumstances but the defensive midfielder still can’t seem to stay out of trouble.
Ndong is currently on the books of Saudi side Al-Riyadh and was recently called up to represent his country, Gabon.
The call up has been cancelled however after the player failed to turn up to international duty, despite the country’s FA providing him with travel arrangements. In a press release the Gabonese FA said:
The two international players who were expected to arrive in Libreville since Friday, November 10, 2023, to participate in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers never reached the venue, despite having domestic flight tickets in their possession.
In view of the new paradigm based on discipline and out of respect for the whole group present in Bongoville, has decided to send Mr Didier Ndong back to his club.
This approach is aimed at prioritizing the national team as an institution, placing it above any personal considerations.
Henceforth, only Gabonese individuals who demonstrate patriotism, respect for the team, and a commitment to defending the values of the republic with dignity will be selected to represent the national team.