NEDUM Onuoha insists Sunderland’s players will ignore the wild transfer speculation which is sure to dog the Black Cats for the next week.
Steve Bruce had been expecting a quiet January transfer window with loan targets Sulley Muntari and Stephane Sessegnon the only potential fresh faces at the Stadium of Light.
But Darren Bent’s shock departure leaves the Sunderland boss with just a week to reinforce his threadbare attack.
Sunderland have already been linked with a catalogue of strikers with Bruce making a number of enquiries for players both on these shores and abroad.
Onuoha expects to have a new team-mate before Sunderland’s clash with Chelsea next Tuesday although he believes last weekend’s win at Blackpool is evidence that the transfer merry-go-round has little impact on the dressing room.
“I’m sure we’ll see some new faces between now and the Chelsea game,” the on-loan Manchester City full-back told the Echo.
“Last week wasn’t very difficult for the players to be honest. Players come and go from football clubs all the time.
“We’ve seen it happen before and we knew the most important thing was the game at Blackpool. We did all the preparations like we usually do.
“You just have to move on.
“As disappointing as it is to lose someone, you know there’ll soon be someone else coming in from another club.
“It’s just one of those things that you just try to ignore.
“At the end of the day, you’re paid to play at the weekend and when the weekend comes, you have to be ready for it.”
Sunderland are without FA Cup commitments this weekend after being humbled in the third round by League One Notts County.
Being out of both cup competitions leaves Sunderland with 14 remaining games to hold onto their sixth spot in the table – starting with a Chelsea side intent on revenge after November’s 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
Onuoha added: “You’d like to win something but whenever you’re not in the cup competitions you know your sole focus is the league.
“We’ve got 14 games left and everyone knows that. There’s no variables.
“You just have to make sure you win as many of those as possible.
“We just have to rest while we can and make sure we’re ready when the Chelsea game comes because that’s going to be a massive one.
“I think they might be after a bit of payback after the result down there. They are a top side and the reigning champions so you have to respect them and that’s exactly what we’ll do.”