All About Dylan

While we await news of the incoming players we so desperately require to mount a promotion push, Jack Ross has been chatting about Dylan McGeouch, who, by the looks of it, will be a vital cog in the engine room this coming season. “Dylan is a good player,” Ross said. “They’re non-comparable at times, Scottish and English football, for a variety of reasons. But what there is up here is good players, good coaches, good teams. You’ve just got to make sure you identify the right ones for your team. The great thing was that when Dylan came here there were players in the squad saying, ‘he’s a good player’. And he is. He’ll thrive on the way we play. I know him well, his character as well and that was one of the key things for me. He’ll take the ball all the time, even with 30,000 at the Stadium of Light. It’ll not phase him because he’s that type, he’ll thrive on it and get better. That role he plays allows other players to go and press in the right areas as well. He [McGeouch] was helped at St Mirren on Saturday by a lot of unselfish runs from Cattermole and George that enabled him to find those holes and get into possession. The rotation of the wide players was really good. That front three at the moment have a licence to interchange and be flexible because of the types of player that they are and they’re thriving on it. They’ve understand their defensive roles too so there’s a lot of encouraging things for me, I’m starting to see that message getting across.”

McGeouch himself has also been chatting about the move that brought him south of the border. He explained: “For me it was time to move on, to try to get down to England and see what I can do down there. You’ll not get a bigger club than Sunderland to do that and if we can get it right, build momentum, it’s a great place to be. I wanted to test myself in England and I heard a lot of good things about Jack He was on the phone quite a lot and showing me how much he wanted me to go down. He asked me to come and have a look at the facilities and, honestly, they were outstanding. The training ground and the stadium, it’s a Premier League club – and obviously with the fan base they’ve got too. It’s just obviously where they are just now, but the manager has come in and wants to build the team, and hopefully we can be where we want to be at the end of the season. You want to test yourself at the highest level you can get but the size of the club was overshadowing everything else about the position they are in. If we can get it right – because this club is huge – then it’s going to be a great few years if we get up. So, I’ve no concerns really about Sunderland being in League One.”

McGeouch is keen to stay in the international picture, so spoke to Scotland manager Alex McLeish before moving to Sunderland. “I spoke to him a little bit when I was away and he was asking what my thoughts were,” added McGeouch. “I knew Aberdeen had shown interest, but I was clear that I wanted to go down to England. With my contract being up it was a good chance to go down the road. When Sunderland came along I was desperate to go down. It’s up to the manager to decide from my performances – hopefully he will come to some games. It’s the manager’s choice. So, it’s not something I’m worrying about. I’m concentrating on doing well for myself, for Sunderland and getting the club back to where it should be.”