Advocaat warns new signing Adam Matthews to up his game if he wants to become first-team star at Sunderland

Adam Matthews
Adam Matthews

Dick Advocaat has warned new boy Adam Matthews he must improve his defensive work if he is to become a first-team star at Sunderland.

Matthews became Sunderland’s second signing of the summer when he completed a £2million move from Celtic on Friday.

The Welshman is renowned as a pacy, attacking full-back, which fitted the bill for Advocaat.

The Black Cats boss wanted a more offensive option at right-back as part of the system he wants to adopt at Sunderland, and was one of the reasons he decided not to offer Frenchman Anthony Reveillere a new contract at the end of the season.

But while he is delighted to have secured the services of Matthews, Advocaat has warned the 23-year-old that he must tighten up defensively if he is to succeed in the Premier League.

Matthews said: “He (Advocaat) just said ‘we’ve been watching you for a while, I like what I see but you’ve got to work on a few things and hopefully I can make you a better player’.

“I’m sure he’ll be able to do that and with the players here I can only improve. I’m very excited to just get started.

“I like to attack but the manager has already told me I need to work on my defending so I’ll try my best to do that.

“I like to get on the ball, I like to get forward and hopefully score a few goals.”

Sunderland moved for Matthews after it appeared Carl Jenkinson wanted to return to West Ham next season, despite the Black Cats having agreed a loan fee with Arsenal.

Director of football Lee Congerton and his scouting team had been keeping tabs on Matthews for a while, but the move still came as a surprise to the defender.

“It’s been very exciting. It happened really quickly which has been a bit of a shock,” Matthews admitted.

“Playing in the Barclays Premier League and in front of great fans and in a big stadium is something I’m looking forward to.

“Obviously, playing at Celtic I’m used to massive crowds and I’m sure they’ll be just as good if not better here so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Matthews could make his Sunderland bow in Thursday night’s first pre-season friendly at Darlington 1883 before the Black Cats jet off to North America on tour.

The Wales International feels that the tour will be a good opportunity to acquaint himself with the rest of the squad ahead of the start of the season in August.

He added: “It’ll be a good opportunity for me to get to know the players.

“You’re interacting with each other more when you’re on tour so that’ll be good for me. Hopefully we’ll come together as a team and start the season as well as we can.

“I’m obviously a bit nervous. Its a big change for me but I’m sure they’ll make me feel welcome and help me improve as a player so I’m looking forward to meeting them all. Hopefully I can settle in really well.”