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Jon McLaughlin reckons that our strength in depth will count come the end of the season. He explained: “We’ve still got a couple yet to come back and we’ve got a team and a squad where if everybody’s fit there will be no stronger team. No one will come close in this division. It would be great if we could get everyone fit and firing – the competition for places would be great and give the gaffer a real headache about who he puts out there. Denver Hume’s a young lad with massive potential and he’s gone into the cup competition, impressed, and given the gaffer something to think about for the rest of the week, so much so that he’s put him in the starting line-up for the next league game. He showed a great attitude on Tuesday night to go out there and stamp his mark and he’s got his rewards for it. He played well again versus Fleetwood. He’s a very good player, a defender who’s got real quality going the other way as well. The more players you have in your squad who are contributing, the better over the course of the season.”

Meanwhile, George Honeyman has been discussing his role as Sunderland captain. “It’s been a bit surreal but I’m loving it,” Honeyman said. “There’s a lot of different responsibilities that you're not always aware of when you’re just a player but for me to get the captaincy so early in my career I’m delighted. But it’s only half the dream at the minute, I want to be lifting some silverware for Sunderland at the end of the year so I’d die happy if I got that. We’ve had a great start, the amount of changes we’ve had at the club it’s never easy. We’ve had a whole new squad of players, a new manager, new ideas, new owners, it all takes getting used to. For us to be unbeaten seven games into the league, it’s a great start and we would have definitely taken this at the start of the year. You can’t win the league in September, October but you can definitely lose it, in and amongst it at this time is perfect, exactly where we want to be. We know we’re just going to get stronger as the season goes, with more players coming back, getting more experience in the league, learning how to win games again, so I’m delighted with how we’ve started the season.”

In other news, former SAFC winger Liam Lawrence has been chatting how he and Roy Keane fell out, which led to him leaving the club for Stoke City. He said: "We had a training ground bust-up on the Thursday, and by the Friday I was on my way down to Stoke. I know what it's like to be on the back of his tongue. But yeah, I literally let the next day and was never seen there again."

Keane described the Lawrence bust-up in his book, The Second Half. "He wasn't happy about being side-lined in a training match, and stormed into the dressing room," Keane writes. "He said he wasn't going to stand on the sideline. I said, 'See you in my office'. It was a proper shouting match; it was more than that. It was intense. I think I might have grabbed him – there might have been a bit of grappling, when he started to leave the office. This was the first time a lad had defied me – and in front of the other players. So, I'd had to think fast."