Keeper Conspiracy

Jack Ross has been chatting about his keepers and whilst Jon McLaughlin is having an excellent season, Polish Under-21 international Max Stryjek is also doing really well, on loan, at Eastleigh. With Robin Reuter still lacking confidence and on more money than McLaughlin, it’s expected that the Dutchman will leave SAFC in the next window and Stryjek will be recalled. “Jon’s has made himself such an important part of the team, not just because of his form but just because of how he is. You do want strength in depth in every position. I think it’s an overall area where we want to continue to strengthen. It’s the reason we sent Max to Eastleigh, I think a lot of him and I think he’s got every chance of going on to play for Sunderland. But he needed to play games. The give and take of that is that it makes him unavailable for me in the meantime. Ultimately, it’s good for him. The one thing with Jon as well is that you look fairly pragmatically when you recruit. His playing history is pretty good, so long may that continue.”

In other news, Reece James, who continues to keep his place in the side ahead of Bryan Oviedo, has been chatting about the competition we have for the left back berth. “I’m obviously up against tough opponents for my position. We have quality in every position, and that pushes everyone on. That’s the way it is. Bryan is pushing us every day in training and in games. He is someone me and Denver came both learn from because he has such ability and experience of World Cups and the top level. It shows the kind of character that he is that he’s helping us. Denver is being pushed too, and that helps us get the best out of each other. The thing I’ve found tough is that I’ve had a lot of away games during my run, which obviously affects the attacking side of things,” said James. “I’m an attacking player, that’s my game. I had a long period at Wigan where I was out for two years, so found it hard to get back into my stride. The more games I play, the more that side of my game comes back. I’m having enough games and I’m pushing myself more to get forward, and the gaffer wants that too, especially at home. Defending is a team game. We’ve done well as a back four, but the midfield and attackers have helped us to string clean sheets together. We’ve done well, and Jon (McLaughlin) has done unbelievable this season to get those clean sheets as well.”

Meanwhile, William Kokolo (2), Lee Connelly and Jack Bainbridge scored as Sunderland Under-23s claimed a 4-1 win at Peterborough United in the Premier League Cup.

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