Callum McManaman reveals why he needs to prove himself at Sunderland
Simon Grayson has said that all three of his deadline day signings will go straight into the squad for the clash against Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon.
That will have been music to the ears of Callum McManaman, whose career has stagnated since starring for Wigan in their shock FA Cup final victory over Manchester City in 2013.
Out of favour at West Brom, a loan move to Sheffueld Wednesday offered hope but with Carlos Carvalhal’s side thriving, a place in the team was hard to come by.
It was the same for Aiden McGeady, who needed a move to Preston to finally relaunch his career under Grayson. McManaman is confident the story can be the same for him on Wearside.
“I only started two games [at Sheffield Wednesday]. I didn’t really get enough time to be honest,” he said.
“It was a frustrating spell. I was behind because I hadn’t played that season and the manager already had his team set.
“It is harder when you are on loan, especially for a six-month loan. I did well when I came off the bench but it is hard when you go into a club on loan for six months in January.
“I have been in the play-offs twice now, once with Sheffield Wednesday and once with Wigan so I know what it takes in the Championship.
“Coming into Sunderland on loan at the start of the season gives me a good chance to get a good run of games,” he added.
“That is just what I need. I need minutes so I can prove myself. When I get a run of games that is when you will see the best of me.”
McManaman has been impressed with the signings the Black Cats have made this summer and feels there is a spirt that can lead to real success in the Championship.
Promotion is the aim.
“The club has signed some good experience and Premier League experience too. I don’t see why we can’t get up this season and get back to where we should be,” he said.
“Promotion is the aim, definitely.
“It all happened that fast that I didn’t really have time to speak to the manager about anything like that but as soon as I knew Sunderland were interested, it was a no-brainer for me.
“This is a massive club. I came here as fast as I could.
“Team spirit is massive to get out of the Championship. I have always thought that, every team that has got promoted from the Championship has that,” he added.
“I have been training a few days now. The lads all get on well, everybody is working with a smile on their face.
“It sounds like it hasn’t been like that the past few years so it is going in the right direction now, that is how it seems to me.”
A hamstring injury to Aiden McGeady could offer McManaman a full debut in what he says is his favoured left-wing position.
The 26-year-old does not feel his is ready to complete a full match yet but is hoping he will be able to make a big impact nevertheless.
“I prefer the left to be honest but I have played on both for years so I don’t mind either wing,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say I would be ready for 90 minutes straight away, I’d be okay to start the game definitely though.”