Max Power has joined SAFC on loan until January, when the deal will be made permanent. Jack Ross said: “We wanted another midfielder in the squad and we wanted one who was a little bit different to what we already have. Max gives us a little bit more of a presence physically – box to box – and gives us more balance within the squad. He’s got very recent experience when it comes to winning and being successful in this league and knows what it takes to get out of it.”
Here’s what Power said about the move “I’ve had a hectic few hours, but I’m delighted to get everything over the line and done. I was lying in bed one minute and then on the motorway within ten. I’ve never been involved in it before, I’m normally sat at home watching Sky Sports news. To be a part of it was an experience, to be joining a club of this stature, I’m delighted. I’ve won the league two out of the last three years, I know what it takes. I’ve come here to do it again and help this club get back into the Championship. I had a really good pre-season with Wigan, so I’m fit and raring to go. I’ve been in contact with Reece James, he told me how good of a club it is, that the facilities are second to none. I’ve been to the stadium as a fan over the years watching Liverpool so I know what I’m stepping into, it’s a fantastic place. I think Sunderland is a Premier League club, the fanbase, the facilities, the Stadium, everything is there. I joined Wigan in a similar situation, they’d been relegated from the Championship, and as a group of players we were able to galvanise the fans. I like to do that, I’m a passionate person and I want to be part of this club’s success. I’m a fully committed lad, I wear my heart on my sleeve, I like to celebrate goals even if I haven’t scored. I managed to watch the game against Charlton on Saturday and I think that win will give the whole place a huge lift. I imagine at 1-0 the doom and gloom merchants were thinking here we go again, so to win the game and in that manner, it’s probably the biggest smile Sunderland fans have had in some time. It’s going to be a long season but one I’m looking forward to it."
So, what do we know about Max? He was born in Birkenhead and started his career at Tranmere Rovers in the youth team. In 2011 he signed a professional contract with the club, amassing 127 appearances and scoring 19 goals. Max joined Wigan when his contract expired at Tranmere Rovers in the summer of 2015. He initially signed a three-year deal which was extended in the summer of 2016 until 2019. Power became a massive part of Wigan’s Sky Bet League One title-winning campaign in 2015-16. The midfielder was runner-up in the club’s Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Year awards but did win the Community Trust’s Player of the Year accolade to cap off a successful debut campaign. He appeared in 42 of the 46 games in the 2016-17 Sky Bet Championship season. Last season, Max Power established himself as a key member of Paul Cook’s side in the 2017-18 Sky Bet League One title-winning campaign, playing 49 times in all competitions and scored five goals. Max becomes Jack Ross’s 12th summer signing.
In other news, Josh Maja is sure of a start at Luton, since he’s our only fit forward and has been previewing the game. He said: “The main thing was to stay positive and keep working hard for the team, but I thought I would definitely get another chance to score and when it came I took it. Getting off the mark is very important for a striker because it builds confidence, so I’m going into Luton this weekend ready to get a few goals and win. Of course there’s pressure [due to the injuries we have up front], but I thrive on that and I like playing with it. The manager has shown in trust in me and he’s given me confidence to do what I want to in the team, so with more games and more experience I’ll show that. Every team wants to win as many games as they can, so as one of the top teams in this league that’s what we have to do to bounce back up.”
Jack Ross has also previewed the trip to Luton Town. “Away from home there are always different challenges, it will be Luton’s first home game and they had a good record there last season. I thought last weekend was one of the toughest home fixtures we could’ve had to start the season, and equally this weekend is one of the toughest away fixtures we could’ve started with. If we can come through these games with positive results then I think from a moral perspective and from a belief perspective it should leave us in a good position. I am adjusting to how teams are perceiving us this season. Every single week is going to be a challenge home or away. For us, it is about strengthening the belief in the group that if the fundamentals are there to win a game in terms of their desire, their work and their intensity out of possession we have a chance. We have great quality in our group, but if we can ensure that the fundamentals are there then it is up to them to then trust in their own ability to let their quality come through. If they can do that then we will win more games than we lose.”
Jack Ross also explained that the players are now paying for their own lunches at the AOL and that the senior players are covering the costs of the U18’s scran! I guess there is such a thing as a free lunch after all! Ross explained: "Certainly the former is true and the second I think it is, as far as I am aware. It was a decision the players took on themselves. The former is fairly common place at most clubs, certainly has been at the clubs I have worked at - both as a player and as a manager. We tweaked that this year [at Sunderland] and there were no complaints, if you eat in a restaurant then you understand why. You get value for money in that sense. The players took that on board no problem and the fact they have helped out the younger lads, the U18s with some of that cost, is good. Sometimes it is something people don't always see - players aren't all that bad, honestly!"