Sunderland boss gives transfer update and reveals his loan message to Jay Matete

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray has confirmed that he will look to add a midfielder to his squad after sanctioning Jay Matete's loan move to Plymouth Argyle.
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Matete had been due to start in the FA Cup Third Round against Shrewsbury Town but the head coach urged him to take the opportunity to go and play for a side thriving at the top of League One. The midfielder made his debut in a 0-0 draw against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.

Matete's absence allowed Chris Rigg to make his eagerly-anticipated Sunderland debut, becoming the second youngster player in the history of the club, and the youngest outfield player.

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Sunderland played without a striker until Ross Stewart's introduction midway through the second half of their 2-1 win, and Mowbray is clear that they are two positions in which he wants the club hierarchy to recruit this month.

Sunderland midfielder Jay MateteSunderland midfielder Jay Matete
Sunderland midfielder Jay Matete

Stewart scored the 92nd-minute equaliser that paved the way for even more drama when Luke O'Nien completed the turnaround from the edge of the box.

"Jay was going to play today, he did the game prep but this deal came along and I've been telling him for a while that I think he should go and get 15 or 20 games consecutively," Mowbray said.

"He shouldn't stay here if it's going to be a substitute appearances every so often.

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"Plymouth are a team right up at the top end of League One, if he goes there and plays he'll be much closer to being ready to play in our team and compete to play in our team. When the deal came in I said I felt it was a good one for him, and we took him out the team.

"It's a good move for him and hopefully he does really well, helps them get promotion and then comes back a much more confident and ready footballer.

"We do need a central midfielder I think, just to bring that competition. It's a position we're looking at but I'm not sure how well on we are on with it right now.

"We need a centre-forward as well of course, there's a few things going on behind the scenes. My job is to coach the team but I do give my opinion and mine is that we need a midfielder.

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"We need competition at the top end of the pitch as well so that we don't have situations like today where we've got two midfielders playing as false nines - we want the young guys getting chances in the positions they play."

Mowbray also confirmed that Leon Dajaku's absence from the matchday squad was due to injury. Like Matete, Dajaku had been due to take his place in the starting XI and his withdrawal brought Amad into the side.

Mowbray said: "Leon was going to start down the middle but got injured in the build up to the game, that was frustrating for him and for us."

Lynden Gooch returned to the bench in a welcome boost ahead of Swansea City’s visit next weekend, with Danny Batth potentially back in the fold for that game.