Simple Twist of Fate

Dylan McGeouch has explained his reasons for turning down the opportunity to return to Scotland to play for Aberdeen so he could stay at Sunderland and prove himself under Jack Ross. “It was obviously disappointing towards the end of the season, for the club as well,” he said. “Personally, I obviously didn't have much game time towards the end. It's something you go away and think about, you recap on the season, what you can do better and [deal with that] frustration. I wanted to prove that I can play in this team, to prove to the manager that I could come back in pre-season and work as hard as I could and put myself in his plans. Hopefully I can do that. I've played a lot of minutes and I'm looking forward to the season starting. Really, it's up to me. I've got to prove myself and hopefully I can do that. You always want to feel wanted, the way the season ended was disappointing but everyone went away, took time out and reflected on it. As I said, I was determined to come back and prove myself. The manager gave me that opportunity, said that he wanted me to come back and prove myself. Hopefully I've done that and can keep doing that, and keep pushing myself as much as I can. It's a healthy position for the manager, because as much I'm pushing everyone else is pushing. Hopefully we can push each other and get the results on the pitch.”

“You don't read into the results during pre season. You want to win but it's all about getting minutes, topping people up with that game time. We're working at that system and improving every game; I think we've got better. We've got fitter and stronger, buying into what the manager wants us to do. We had a good few chances in the first half and then obviously both teams make a lot of changes and the game dies out a little bit. There's a lot of positives to take. It's not about playing one system, it's about being able to adapt to different styles, different places and personnel. It's something to have in the locker, it's good to have that. We’ve still got the bulk of the squad here, adding a couple. We’re a strong squad, a good bunch of lads. Obviously it was disappointing the way the season ended last year but we’re building. Hopefully this year we’re a better team for that disappointment, we can learn from it and move on. We know what the league is about, adapt with different systems and hopefully that can help us push forward. If I could turn the clock back I would still have made the same move. I totally stick by the move I made. This is a great club, a massive club. You see the fans who have been up and down the country all season and it has been fantastic. This is a club that is in a league where it shouldn’t be. It is just about us getting there. I still believe I can play a part in helping Sunderland be successful. I believed that all year and I feel I can bring something to the team. I still strongly believe that.”

In other news, Josh Maja reckons it was 'heartbreaking' to watch our play-off final defeat. Maybe if you’d stuck it out, we’d have been promoted automatically mate! "It was so close, it was heartbreaking watching that final, and then losing," Maja said. "But I think they are working hard in pre-season, I’ve been speaking to a couple of the guys, who I still keep in contact with now. They are working hard to pull off a positive season."