Updated: Aug 10
From Jack Baldwin discussing Sunderland’s promotion challenge to Yann M’Vila’s potential return to English football - here’s what’s making the headlines today.
Jack Baldwin scored Sunderland’s equaliser on Tuesday night and had his say on the promotion race: “[The game in hand] definitely makes a difference. Other teams will look at the table and see we have a game in hand as well. We’re in a strong position and while it would have been nice if we’d put the three points on the board, you look at the position we’re in and if you ask would we take that, I think we would, yeah. It’s important we focus on ourselves and do our job. What other teams want to do, whether they look at the league or focus on themselves is up to them but if they do check the league it’s always going to be in the back of their minds where we’re sitting with a game in hand which hopefully we can make full use of. There’s been loads of goal scorers this year from all over the park so it’s important for us as defenders when we get set pieces to go and try our luck. Grant said to me after the first corner, ‘I put it right across the front post and no one was there! Make sure you’re there!’ The second one he put far, but the third one I got on the end of.”
Ashley Fletcher has opened up about his loan move last season and the struggles of being in the Sunderland team: “I think the experiences of last season have helped me, 100 per cent. In a strange way, I have to thank Sunderland. I went there as their number nine, and it’s a huge club. I hope to see them back in the Championship next season. In a weird way, it was definitely character building for me. I had to grow up a lot and handle a lot of things. The biggest thing was that I never ducked the issue, and that’s been important for helping me develop as a player. We all knew we were in trouble, but I didn’t hide away, and so whatever is thrown at me in the future, I know I can handle it and deal with it. As long as you go out there and give 100 per cent, that’s all you can influence as a player. That’s an important lesson I learned.”
Speaking of former players, Yann M’Vila could be set for another move to England - this time with West Ham. It’s being reported in L’Equipe that West Ham have made an approach for the Frenchman who is currently playing in France for St Etienne and the Hammers are looking to bring him back to the Premier League.