Sunderland transfer news: Tony Mowbray and Kristjaan Speakman open up on deadline day
Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray says he is happy with the size of his playing squad despite a couple of potential deadline-day moves failing to materialise.
Sunderland had gone into the day hoping for ‘one or two’ additions to end their business, with a centre back and potentially experienced cover in goal on the agenda.
However, the club accepted defeat in the early evening
After not being able to land early targets, Mowbray explained that he was happy then to draw a line under it and move forward with the current group.
“We worked really hard, we had some balls rolling probably until about 8 or 9 o'clock that could have still fallen in for us, but they didn't,” Mowbray said.
“So my opinion was let's trust these lads, let them build that camaraderie that they have. As long as you have some flexible players which we do, they can fill in if you do get an injury.
“We want to keep a tight group - it's a really interesting discussion in football as to whether you do that. I prefer to make human connections with my players, I want to love them and for them to know I'm on their side. It becomes more difficult to do that when you have huge numbers. You have to look after anyone who is on the periphery, you've got to try and keep everyone going.
“There's a balance to be had because if you pick up a few injuries everyone says you should have added in the summer window, but you've got to trust them and hope you have the depth and quality.”
Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman added that working with a streamlined group was part of the club’s general strategy.
“What we don't want is loads of players around the group not playing or participating, and what we've always wanted to do since I've been here is have a streamlined group with real quality,” he said.
"I think that's what we've got.”
Sunderland made ten additions to their squad over the course of the window, with the average age of their incomings 20.7 as they commit to their model of developing young talent.