Adam Matthews reckons that he’s made the right decision to stay at Sunderland despite our relegation. He said: "I was happy to stay. We came back in pre-season and it was a fresh start for everyone. The club got taken over, there was a new manager so it did feel like a new club and a fresh start for everyone. It's been brilliant so far and hopefully we can keep it going. It's nice to win games. At any level you play at, a footballer wants to win games. We haven't had that feeling for a long time so hopefully this season we can get that feeling, win promotion and take it into the next season and kick on again. That's our goal and what everyone in the changing room wants to do.
Mathews also spoke about the victory over Carlisle on Tuesday and the impact that that the younger players have had. “We've got a lot of good youngsters coming through. Obviously, we signed Glenn (Loovens), which I think is a big one for us in the changing room on and off the pitch. Jack [Diamond] and Benji did well when they came on (on Tuesday against Carlisle), and even Lee [Connelly] should have scored. He did well. We have a young team, with a couple of experienced players which every young player needs, so I think we have a good bond in the changing room. I think the boys did well. It gave an opportunity to those who haven't played much and they came in and showed what they can do. It was a good atmosphere, obviously a small crowd and for games like these you don't expect a big crowd, but the fans were brilliant as they always are. It was nice to get the win and the performance was alright as well. I think the boys did well. It gave an opportunity to those who haven't played much and they came in and showed what they can do. It was a good atmosphere, obviously a small crowd and for games like these you don't expect a big crowd, but the fans were brilliant as they always are. It was nice to get the win and the performance was alright as well."
He also paid tribute to the fans’ loyalty: “I think even last season the fans were brilliant. It was tough for us on the pitch, but really tough for them off it. You can see with the attendances we've had this season that they're behind the team. They've always been brilliant and want their team to do well, which we haven't done recently. I think it is time we repay them now, and hopefully we can get promotion."
Matthews is also looking forward to a weekend off but would have preferred an international call-up with Wales. "It's an honour to represent your country and I've done it a couple of times now and want to do it again. That will take care of itself if I'm playing well for Sunderland then hopefully I'll get a call-up, but if not, I'll still be there supporting. But it's been a tough couple of months. We've started the season well, so you could say we need a break, but we're on a roll at the minute so we aren't too bothered [about having a break]. It'll be nice to have a weekend off, get all our energy back and then kick on again. A little bit (you wish there wasn't a break), but like I said it's early in the season, so I think it'll be nice to get a little break and come back fresh again and kick on from where we left off. We're playing well at the minute, but after the break hopefully we'll be even better."
In other news, Sunderland AFC has reached an agreement with Didier Ndong for his departure on amicable terms. As of 8 October 2018, he is no longer an employee of the club. There is an agreement with the player for a payment by way of compensation upon his signing for a new club.
Meanwhile, Ethan Robson is hoping to shake off he knock the picked up in Checkatrade Trophy win over Carlisle and be involved against Shrewsbury and Doncaster. With Max Power missing for four games, Robson is hoping to get some more first team action. He posted on Instagram: "Good to be back out there last night gutted to have had to come off with an injury, hoping it’s not too serious."
Jack Ross said of Robson's injury: "I think it’s fairly minor to be honest. It was a combination of the impact from the tackle and he just twisted his ankle a bit. We don’t think it’s anything too serious. The fact that we don’t have another game for a while helps, hopefully he should be OK by the time the group comes back together properly next Monday. He’s a good player, I really like him, I’m fond of him. He was very much in my plans pre-season and would have started the season against Charlton if he’d been fit. It’s just the way it pans out, he’s found himself a bit behind some others and it has maybe dented his confidence a bit. We’ve worked hard with him, one-to-one, trying to build him up and the bits of his game he can tidy up. He wants to improve and he takes it on board, he wants to get better and play here. I said to him yesterday there was no pressure.”