Long Live The King

Chris The King Maguire has been chatting about how well things are going right now at Sunderland after his nightmare at Bury: "I'm loving it here. I've got my buzz back for the game and it's been brilliant. The fans and everyone here have been great with me and it's up to me to repay that on the pitch. At the moment I think I'm doing that. I didn't have the buzz [at Bury] because I didn't like it there, it was as simple as that. I didn't like the environment, it wasn't a good fit for me and it was one of those where I woke up every day and didn't really want to go into training because I wasn't enjoying it, and it was pointless going in because I knew I wasn't going to play. I'm delighted to have gotten away from there and to kick-start my career again. In the summer I had heard that Sunderland had an interest, so I got my agent involved and came down to the club to have a look about the place. As soon as I did, this was the only place I wanted to be and thankfully I got here. If you asked any player in League One, or even in some teams in the Championship, when Sunderland come in for you it's an obvious move. They've had a ropey couple of seasons but it's a massive club and it now has the right people in charge who are looking to go forward. It's something I want to be a part of."

He also spoke about his manager, Jack Ross. "It's the first time I've worked with him but I actually played against him in Scotland a couple of times. He's been brilliant with me and all the boys enjoyed working with him. He gives us the freedom to play and doesn't care if we make mistakes. We've got a few different formations that he's put in place but everyone always knows their role. He's got the backing of every player here."

He then moved on to his new nickname: 'The King'. "I don't know where it's come from! But there are a lot of worse things to be called, I can assure you of that. I've been getting stick for it from the boys but it's just a bit of banter. I'm sure in time there will be some sort of crown popping about somewhere. Hopefully if we win the league it will come out then!"

He's also hoping to get back into the Scotland squad. "I've got two caps but I don't want to finish on that. To get recognised to play for your country is a great honour and I'm no different to anyone in that respect. Maybe in the next last few years I've not been recognised because I've played for so-called lesser teams, but at a club the size of Sunderland you would think people would be there to watch and take notes. It's still very much in my thoughts to get into the set-up again."

In other news, Jack Ross reckons that Reece James will stay in the starting line-up, despite the return of Bryan Oviedo. “I mentioned it post-Shrewsbury that I’m the manager of a big squad but I’ve seen plenty of big squads before and I’m sure there are other through the leagues this season but it only works if you’ve got them all at it. I’m very lucky at the moment that I’ve got a group of players who all want to play. It’s not just their attitude, but their response to getting opportunities which has been really good and Reece has strong competition for his place, not just from Bryan but from Denver when he gets fit but he got an opportunity through circumstances and he’s taken it. If he continues to do that, he’ll continue to play and Bryan knows that as well. When the opportunity comes to Bryan, it will be the same for him. When players are in and they’re playing well, they’ll keep playing and if there are changes there’s usually a reason behind it which is explained to them. If you’re open in your communication with players, generally the reaction is a positive one and that’s been the case to date.”

Meanwhile, Lee Cattermole has been chatting about yellow cards, a topic he is an expert on. "It’s something I've always had but I play on the edge, I’ve always played competitively like that. I’m going to pick yellow cards up, I’ve probably picked up more this season for soft yellow cards than I was expecting. When you come down the leagues you hear how competitive it is but I’ve been surprised at how soft yellow cards have been handed out. It comes with the game I play and something I’m not going to change now at my age. I’ve done it all my career and I’m conscious of how many yellow cards I’m on, I don’t want to be missing games. I understand the manager took me off (against Doncaster) but that’s the way it is and I’m not going to worry too much about it but it’s something I’ve got my eye on. "I don’t want to be picking up too many yellow cards."

Finally, we have been allocated 4,195 tickets for Port Vale away in the FA Cup. Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, November 1 to season card holders with 10 or more Black Cat points. All season card holders will be able to purchase tickets on Friday, November 2, before they go on general sale on Monday, November 5. Tickets are priced at £15 for adults, £10 for over-65s and under-22s while under-18s will pay £5. You can find more information by visiting the club's website. To book travel with ALS click here