We can build side around young Cats
COLEMAN SAYS PLAYERS LIKE MCMANAMAN KEY
CALLUM McManaman is the kind of player Chris Coleman wants to rebuild around this summer.
Sunderland are in for a busy summer with seven loan players returning to their parent clubs, a handful of players out of contract, and a number of others likely to move on, leaving Coleman needing to conduct a major overhaul of his squad.
He has already said he wants midfielder Paddy McNair to be a key figure for the Black Cats, and McManaman is another he feels will play an important role next season.
Summer signing McManaman has started only a dozen league games this term, and made another 10 appearances as a sub, and his performances have been inconsistent.
But his display in the weekend 2-2 draw at Reading showed what he is capable of and if, as now seems certain, Sunderland are relegated to League One, his technique would stand out a mile at that level.
“Callum is a really good lad, he hasn’t always started but nevertheless his attitude in training is first-class, he always wants the team to do well,” said Coleman. “He has a genuine love for the game, he wants to play football, I was pleased for him. “It is hard to play in that position when you haven’t had so many games, a lot of running, he affected the game for us. “For what we want to build, it is mentalities like his, more and more of that.” Unless the club changes hands this summer, the signs are that Coleman will be working on a shoestring budget this summer. And, along with the likes of McNair and McManaman, that means homegrown players who have come to the fore this season are likely to be given even more gametime next term.
George Honeyman, Joel Asoro, Josh Maja, and Lynden Gooch – whose absence through injury saw McManaman start at the Madejski Stadium – are among those who the club will rely on next season.
Coleman said: “There is a good nucleus of good young players we can build around too. Of course you need some experience too.
“It was a shame for Lynden Gooch to miss out [at Reading] but his injury against Norwich kept him out.
“He has been outstanding – there are some good young players here.”
Gooch is due to return to training this week, and at this stage is expected to be in contention for the weekend game against Burton Albion at the Stadium of Light.
Chris Coleman wants to build his side around the likes of Callum McManaman (main picture)