On-loan Everton defender on his difficult first few months at Sunderland

Brendan Galloway in action against Leeds United's Ezgjan Alioski.
Brendan Galloway in action against Leeds United's Ezgjan Alioski.

Brendan Galloway admits the tough start to his Sunderland career has been a ‘learning curve’.

The 21-year-old was one of Simon Grayson’s first summer signings and with Bryan Oviedo injured, Galloway started the season as a regular in the first team.

He struggled for form, however, and drifted from selection contention.

Galloway was left out of the matchday squad for the 3-1 defeat to Reading but an injury in the warm-up to Paddy McNair and a knock during the game to Oviedo saw him return to the fray.

As he looks to prove himself at senior level, Galloway says impressing Coleman in training will be the key.

He said: “My main focus now is to take each day as it comes, to train hard and do everything that I can to get in the team.

“As a young player, all you want to do is play football. Then I’ll take it from there.

“It has been tough and a learning curve, a bit of both.

“At the start of the season we found it difficult and it was a bit difficult for me but you have to take these challenges as they come.

“You have to prepare every day for it and then what will be, will be.”

After a wretched start to the season Sunderland’s defensive record has begun to slowly improve, with two clean sheets in four games under Chris Coleman.

Galloway says the intensity of training has goen ‘right up’ and that the players are excited to be working with the former Wales boss.

He said: “It hurts not getting more clean sheets, especially as defenders both individually and as a unit when you work so hard but don’t manage to get a clean sheet.

“We have been working hard to improve that and hopefully we can start by getting a run of clean sheets.

“Since the new manager has come in the intensity has gone right up and training has been really good.

“Everyone knows he is a good manager from what he did with the Wales squad, everyone has been excited to work with him and everyone is ready to work as hard as we can for him and the football club.”

Sunderland remain locked in a relegation fight but Galloway insists that the squad are optimistic.

He said: “There have been ups and downs but we can only look forward and to the future, obviously we can improve our league position and I think already the performances have started to improve under the new manager.

“Hopefully we can keep that going and get a run of wins together and climb the league table.

“I don’t think there has been any hangover from relegation. We have big characters in the squad, people willing to do what it takes to get it right.

“As long as we stick together, we will turn it around. We are confident, all the players and staff are confident we will turn it round with a bit of luck we can get back to winning ways.”