Sunderland have made another signing, this time in the shape of 26-year-old Northern Irish international defender Tom Flanagan, from Burton Albion, on a two-year deal.
Jack Ross said: “First and foremost, I think he’s at an age, and at a stage in his career, where he feels he’s not quite achieved what he can do given his ability, so this is an opportunity for him to reach his potential. He can help us improve as a team and beyond that, what he gives me as a manager is really good versatility because he can play anywhere across the back four which will be important as the season goes on. I’ve spoken previously about how it’s important to have players who not only have experience in this division but have been successful in it, and he’s gained promotion from the league before so that will stand us in good stead.”
Flanagan, has been explaining his reasons for coming to Sunderland and what he can offer the club. Flanagan said: "As soon as I knew of the interest I pursued it because the stature of the club speaks for itself no matter what league they are in. I've got three friends from nursery, all three were born exactly the same place as me and all three are Sunderland fans, avid Sunderland fans. They go to all the away games in London, try to come up as much as they can. That's the reach of the football club - I'm from London originally and I went to school with three crazy Sunderland fans. I don't have a favourite position, I'm happy to play anywhere across a back four or a back three. I'm quite relaxed on the ball, not one to take risks, I'm very quick, read the game well and I'm a good leader - I'll talk to people, shout at people, listen. I'm just looking forward to it and I hope people will look forward to playing with me because I'm certainly looking forward to playing with some of the players. I just can't wait for that first game at the Stadium of Light.”
He's also hoping that his experience and success in League One can help him succeed. “I know the league. I've played a lot in the league, I know what it takes and it takes consistency," he added. "It's not like the Championship where a point may take you up the league, you need to keep the three points rolling. There's some tough away games. When I found out about the interest from the club I looked at the fixtures, purely out of excitement and we've got some travelling to do but if we can manage that right it will really stand us in good stead."