Jason Steele on Robbin Ruiter and potential fight to be Sunderland’s number one

Jason Steele in action for Blackburn Rovers against Sheffield Wednesday last season.
Jason Steele in action for Blackburn Rovers against Sheffield Wednesday last season.
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Jason Steele says he has been offered no guarantees that he will be Sunderland’s number one next season, and is happy to fight for his place.

Steele signed a four-year deal on Wednesday in a deal worth around £500,000.

However, the Black Cats are also keen to bring in Dutch trialist Robbin Ruiter, who has impressed in his two games for the club so far.

Even if they are unable to do so, and there has been talk of interest from Premier League Burnley, Simon Grayson is likely to try and bring in another stopped.

Steele said “Nothing has been promised to me at all, I can assure you of that.

“The only thing I promised to the gaffer was that I’d come in and give everything every day.

“Along the way you might have times when you don’t do so well but I’ll be doing everything in my power to be the goalkeeper at this club.

“I certainly believe in myself and believe that I can be number one for this club for years to come.

“I’m at a good age, I’ve played a lot of games for someone so young, I’m experienced, I’m hungry, and I really want to do well.”

Steele made over 100 league appearances for Blackburn Rovers during a three year stay at Ewood Park, but faced competition for his spot after an injury from young Spaniard David Raya.

The 26-year-old insists that competition will make him a stronger player.

He said: “Without a doubt. I think being in competition with somebody is what makes you better.

“Your will to improve day in, day out to make sure you keep hold of the jersey on a Saturday.

“That’s all that really matter, you can train as well as you want but if you don’t play well you don’t play.

“That’s the best thing to have in a team, knowing that is you don’t perform you won’t play the next week. You need that strong squad.”

Steele could well feature in Sunderland’s final pre-season game against Celtic on Saturday afternoon.

The goalkeeper played a significant part in Blackburn’s pre-season under Tony Mowbray and says he is ready to make an impact right from the beginning of the season.

When he does feature he has promised to be a vocal presence behind the back four.

He said: “I like to organise, I like to have as little to do in the game as possible.

“If your goalkeeper organises your team, keeps them switched on and focused, you can minimise the amount of goals you concede. Obviously it’ll take me a few days to get to know the lads and how they like to play.

“I haven’t missed anything [in pre-season]. I trained all through pre-season for Blackburn. In the last couple of weeks things maybe came to a head but the manager was brilliant, I kept training and travelled with the team even if I knew I wasn’t going to be playing, I’m the sort of lad who wants to be supportive and I’ve got good friends there. I kept sharp, working with the first team, so I’m ready to go.”