Sunderland defender makes January transfer window admission

Tom Flanagan says the Sunderland squad are in a really good place following their 3-0 win at Doncaster – but admits there are concerns about the squad’s lack of attacking options.

Sunderland defender Tom Flanagan playing against Doncaster.
Sunderland defender Tom Flanagan playing against Doncaster.

The Black Cats have been hit with the news that Everton loanee Nathan Broadhead will be sidelined for at least three months with a hamstring injury, leaving Ross Stewart as the squad’s only recognised senior striker.

Under-23 players Will Harris and Benji Kimpioka were on the bench at Doncaster, yet Sunderland will be looking to bolster their options when the January transfer window reopens.

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"I think the Nath one has kind of reiterated the point as to where we’re at. He was really on fire and he knew,” Flanagan told the Echo.

“We were all trying to be really positive but he knew the severity of it, you know your own body.

“I think there is worry now because if Rosco gets injured we are down to Will Harris who has worked incredibly well to get where he’s got. He came on today and held the ball up and didn’t look out of place.

“I’m not by any stretch of the imagination saying he couldn’t do it, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t start a game soon with the amount of games we have got, but we need some other players to get us where we want.

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“People might not like to hear that but ultimately I want the best players at the club because I want to be promoted with this club.

“We need the best players and have to go and get them so it’s selfish in that respect but if we are all selfish we will get where we want to be and that needs to be reiterated I think.

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“We need a few players in my personal opinion.”

Sunderland are one of the few League One sides who have played over the Christmas period after several clubs had games postponed due to Covid-19 outbreaks.

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The Black Cats’ home game against Fleetwood, scheduled to be played on January 2, has been postponed, though, due to multiple positive tests in the visitors’ camp.

Sunderland’s win at Doncaster meant they moved back up to second in the League One table and have averaged two points per game at the halfway stage of the campaign.

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"It was a really professional performance, we knew we needed to start fast and we did,” added Flanagan after the match.

“I think we have got seven or eight players at the minute reaching their fitness and their hot streak.

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“They will come away from that and the next group will do the same thing and that’s just the way the season works.

“With everything going on, I think our protocols are coming to fruition.

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“We didn’t really give them any sniffs and kind of sucked the enthusiasm out of them.

“There is always the worry that at Donny when we bring so many fans that they have their best game of the season but we are in a good place this season.”