Marc Wilson moved to Sunderland for the good of his career – and is determined to be a success on Wearside as he closes in on a return to action.
The 30-year-old defender missed the Preston North End and QPR draws with a groin injury but Simon Grayson hopes to have him back training ahead of the trip to Brentford this weekend.
Versatile Wilson has endured a difficult start to life at the Stadium of Light, with the club struggling in the Championship relegation zone.
The former Cherries defender signed on deadline day, penning a deal until the end of the season and he insists dropping down a division wasn’t a factor.
He simply wanted to play football again and revive his career, having played just 19 games in the last two seasons for Stoke City, Bournemouth, West Brom and Ireland.
“The most important thing for me was to play first team football again,” Wilson said.
“I just needed games under my belt again. That was my main focus in coming to Sunderland.
“I feel it within myself that I have the hunger back, it hasn’t been there for the last year.
“I moved for my own career, I needed to move out and play football.
“I had a few other clubs that were interested, obviously I sat down with the family and we had a chat about it, where I wanted to go and how I needed to achieve it.
“We decided that Sunderland was the place to come.
“This is a very positive move for me, a great club and great history behind them. I am hungry to do well,” added Wilson, an international teammate of John O’Shea, Aiden McGeady and Darron Gibson.
Wilson has struggled for form in his five appearances before injury struck midway through the 5-2 hammering at Ipswich Town.
He was one of three central defenders to miss the 1-1 draw with QPR at the weekend, Lamine Kone missing out through illness and Tyias Browning out with a muscle injury.
It meant Grayson partnered John O’Shea with right-back Billy Jones at the heart of the Sunderland defence.
Grayson will be hoping for defensive reinforcements at Brentford, with the manager hopeful of Wilson returning to training by the back end of this week.
The Sunderland first team squad were on a day off yesterday but return to the Academy of Light today to continue preparations ahead of the trip to face Dean Smith’s Brentford side, 18th in the Championship.
Wilson, who describes Sunderland boss Grayson as “different class”, is now settled in the area having moved into an apartment.
Sunderland now need a settled run of positive results if they are to quickly turn the dismal start to life in the second tier round in their favour.
Wilson added: “Yes, it’s satisfying to be playing but it’s been disappointing to lose football matches.
“You’re always disappointed to lose, which any footballer will tell you.
“I’m concentrating on the next game and looking forward all the time.
“Slowly but surely, I know I’ll get there, as will the team as a whole.”