February 24, 2024

Michael Beale has reflected on his first month in charge of Sunderland, which has seen some ups and downs. Beale thinks that when you take into consideration our missing players, it has been a positive month. 

BEING JUDGED TOO HARSHLY?

“I think also it’s overlooked really, we lost Niall Huggins in my very first game and he was an important player for us in the first part of the season. We’ve not had Dennis Cirkin as well and we’ve lost Bradley Dack and Patrick Roberts, we’ve lost four starters in my opinion and so naturally any squad in our league, when you have injuries like that, it’s going to impact the whole squad. Certainly our squad with young players but in terms of the boys who are here, working, the training levels I’ve been really pleased with and I’m working away with those guys. Certainly, the eyes are on the future of one or two of them. You know if we get put in now with the pressure of playing for a club our size, maybe we’ll kill them a little bit. So you’ve just got to trust our judgement that we’re working away and they’ll get there.”

Passion and potential the key as Beale reflects on first month on Wearside  - video Dailymotion

TENSIONS

“When the season started or when the boys came back for pre-season, 28th June, where we are in the league would be ok, game on. So the positivity around the team inside the building has to stay the same and I’m sure the team will get great strength off the fans in the next two home games. We have played three out of the last four away in the league, our away form earlier this season has not been top, if we’re being honest. We went away to Hull, a team around us and have won, we lost a really tight game at the weekend to fine margins and I think you know it was disappointing coming back but the positivity the group’s shown this week we have to go into the Hull and Stoke games and perform and if we do we’re in a fantastic place.”

FIRST MONTH ON WEARSIDE

“Well I think it’ll be a month just before the game on Friday so it’s been everything I expected it to be, it’s been a wonderful football club. There’s a lot of expectation, it’s a young group that’s got lots of potential but we’ve got to move towards fulfilling it and being more consistent is probably the big word. I think our team, from what I’ve seen, shouldn’t be scared of anybody in this division. We should go into every game with real optimism and then it’s going to come down to our quality in both boxes. In terms of the demand of the job, I was aware that it’s something that you’re looking for. You want to go in where there’s passion and demand for results and we’ve got it here as I say, the biggest thing for me is when pre-season started would the group have been satisfied, not happy, satisfied with where we are now knowing that we’ve got the games coming up and the end of the season? I think we would, so now it’s time for us, everybody, staff, players and the fans outside to really push the next three or four months because the clubs around us are doing that, uniting and pushing. It’s important we’re doing the same here, I think that we have every single chance of having an excellent end to the season.”

STARTING TO IMPLEMENT HIS STYLE

“I think that’s going to take a little bit of time to be honest, you’ll see changes in the team structurally over time. I think at the moment, you know, we speak about the size of the squad and the key players we’re trying to keep things very much the same for them in terms of maybe defensive shape and organisation but over time it will evolve for certain. Adding one or two to the squad or one or two coming back from injury, if we were able to get maybe another left sided defender in. Aji coming back has given us that option (moving to a back three) as well, and again at some point either one of the forwards in the building  or someone coming in will change the dynamic of the final third that’s for sure. I think we have the fourth, joint-fourth or fifth best defensive record in the league, which often gets overlooked because we’re a possession based team. I think we’re only 13th or 14th for scoring goals, so that’s certainly an area we can improve.”

 

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