Baldwin/Oviedo Craic

Jack Baldwin has been very frank in his summing up of the current frustrating situation at Sunderland. Baldwin felt he was at fault for Blackpool’s goal on Tuesday night, but at the same time you could argue he made amends by creating the opportunity for Will Grigg to miss an open goal and then equalised with a header from a corner. “It’s very frustrating because I find myself in the position again where I could have done a lot better for the opening goal and it kind of kicked the wind out of our sails a little bit. When I’m stepping out from the back my decision-making could be a lot better at times. I feel the pressure to be that person to make things happen and I haven’t always got to do that because we’ve got a lot of players who are a lot more comfortable on the ball and technically a lot better than I am. But at times the onus is on us to step out, attract people on and create gaps. I think it comes with experience and playing at places like this, which is new for me this season, but you’ve got to try and find the balance between keeping your calm and not letting your passion and your willingness to do well stop you doing your job and take over. That’s got to be there but you have to be calm and collected. You’ve got to channel the passion from the stands and if everyone can find a way to use it as a positive, that will drive us forward. The lads have to find a way to channel the frustration you might feel from not converting opportunities or not got going forward with the thrust and energy we need. No one feels it more than us because we’re the ones trying to get the job done. We’re lucky enough to be at such a club which can draw 27,000 on a Tuesday night so you take the good with the bad. When you’re winning games the crowd are brilliant and when things aren’t going our way you can sense their frustration but that’s just normal. I’m a football fan myself and you do get frustrated but it’s not through lack of effort. Everyone goes out there giving their all to make sure we can get this club back where it belongs. The manager speaks about it – you can let it drown you or you can put your shoulders back, say ‘I’m ready’ and kick on. It’s important for us we come into Friday’s game (at home to Accrington Stanley) with a positive mindset. If we keep pushing forward and pinning teams in like we did on Tuesday, the more chances we’re going to create and the more chances these lads get, they’re going to start converting them. Grant’s on the money all the time from corners and if we can get a run on our markers we’re looking to convert a lot more of them. Jimmy scored at the weekend and me on Tuesday, so long may it continue.”

In other news, Bryan Oviedo has been discussing his future following his loan deal to West Brom failing to go through on transfer deadline day. He explained: “It was very stressful and tiring, because I was told at 6pm that I should travel to Birmingham, so I did not hesitate. I signed the contract 20 minutes before the window closed. However, five minutes after 11pm (the deadline for completed transfers) they informed me that it had not been possible to do it. Maybe at the time I was affected, but from the moment it did not go ahead, I had to keep working. Physically I feel very well, I am training to the maximum to be considered (for selection). When I have the opportunity to play, it is clear to me that I must do it in the best way. My challenge is to help Sunderland to climb into the Championship. I have not thought much about leaving because I have another year left on my contract (after this season). The family are happy here, it is difficult to be in League One, but if we go up it will be different. Obviously, I’m very worried about my international place, knowing that I’m not playing worries me, I’d like to be at the highest level, but it’s not in my hands. I try to stay in good physical shape, here I am in a demanding league. There are strong teams and I trust that if they take me into account, I will do my best.”

Meanwhile, Bournemouth striker Sam Surridge has been chatting about his potential loan move to Sunderland that never came off during the transfer window. Surridge said: "We had a couple of chats and he (Howe) said he wanted me to stay and be around the first team to try and fight for a place. I keep working every day under him and he said he will improve me as a player, which I have done since I came back. It is nice getting recognition and being wanted by other clubs. With the Sunderland situation, I was ready to go until Thursday (deadline day) but we did not know if I was going to be allowed out. It was one of those things I put at the back of my mind. If it happened, it happened but the gaffer wanted me to stay and I wanted to stay. I wanted to keep pushing myself and see what I could do. I am happy to be working with top-quality Premier League players every day in training and the coaches are improving me."