Ex-Sunderland academy player Blair Adams gives verdict on South Shields clash
Blair Adams has insisted his old club Sunderland won’t have it easy when facing South Shields in tonight’s pre-season friendly.
Adams, now 27, rose through the ranks at the Academy of Light but failed to make a first-team appearance while on Wearside.
Stints with Coventry City, Notts County and Hartlepool United followed before the left-back made the switch to South Shields last season.
But the former England under-20 international has sent a confident warning to the club he supported as a boy ahead of tonight’s game at Mariners Park.
“We can give Sunderland a good game, we’ve been back training a week or two so it won’t be an easy game for them,” Adams said.
“The lads want to give it a good go and show what a good side we are, and show that we can compete and challenge against League One footballers.
“One of the big things about Shields is that we have a proper identity about how we want to play which comes from the two managers (Graham Fenton and Lee Picton).
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“They’ve got us playing the right way with a style of football that the fans like to see and our pitch gives us the platform to play a good, fast passing game.
“We want to attack, we just missed out on winning the league last season by three points, so with a few little tweaks we’ll be right up there come the end of the season.”
The Shields man, a boyhood Sunderland fan, now coaches at the academy and will come up against several familiar faces when he takes to the pitch tonight.
“Obviously, Sunderland are the club I follow, so it’s always a nice occasion to play against them and the 3.5k attendance we’ve ended up getting just shows the support both clubs have,” added Adams.
“I played with Chris Maguire and Lee Burge when I was at Coventry. Burge was second choice when I was at Coventry, so I didn’t seem much of him competitively but he’s a great lad and I’m sure he’ll fit in well.
“I’ve also played against Conor McLaughlin a few times, he’ll definitely be a good signing for Sunderland at this level.”