Lee Camp opens up on 'tough' Sunderland spell, defends form and likens move to 'jumping on the Titanic'
Lee Camp has defended his performances at Sunderland during a disastrous loan spell last season - and likened his loan move to 'jumping on the Titanic'.
Camp joined on loan last January from Cardiff City but it proved a wrong move for player and club with Sunderland's chronic goalkeeping problems a major factor in relegation to the third tier.
Neither Camp, Robbin Ruiter or Jason Steele came out of the season with any credit, Sunderland switching goalkeepers several times throughout the campaign.
Camp has opened up about his 'tough' time on Wearside in a lengthy interview with the Birmingham Mail.
He praised the club and facilities but admitted it was a difficult situation to walk in to with Sunderland already battling the drop when he arrived.
"It was always going to be a tough challenge, I kind of knew the situation going in, so I didn’t walk in with my eyes closed. I knew it was pretty desperate where it was," he told the Brimingham Mail.
"But I needed to get out and play some football. I had been injured, not really playing, playing in the 23s wasn’t going to help me in any way.
"It was a chance to go up and get first team football.
"It’s still a massive football club, a great stadium, great training ground, obviously been in the Premier League recently, Chris Coleman - a good manager, done well with Wales, you think ‘What a chance to go’.
"Then you get in, it’s almost like jumping on the Titanic, so to speak.
"It was a tough time, a tough time for everyone, myself, the manager at the time, people behind the scenes, it was a real tough situation to walk into.
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"But you try to remain professional, you do your best and what will be, will be."
He added: "No, I wasn’t playing injured, I was fully fit in terms of all the medical tests, it’s just when you are not match fit and not played for a while.
"Playing 23s football, I remember playing at Coventry on a Monday and ended up playing against virtually an Under 18s team.
"And with the greatest of respect a 16-17-year-old, we were a strong Under 23s team, so I was kind of stood there for 90 minutes and you don’t get tested.
"You never really know where you are at, it’s a bit of a false reading.
"But obviously going into the lion’s den at Sunderland was always tough,it was a tough period, the team was under pressure, the team was struggling.
"It was like a sink or swim. I don’t generally think my performances were as bad as it looks on paper but when you are a goalie and you concede a few goals, it always lands on your doorstep.
"I wasn’t injured, it was just a case of not match fit and match sharp," he told the Birmingham Mail.Read More: Follow our live SAFC transfer blog here:Camp signed for Championship Birmingham City in the summer and has since made 11 appearances for the club.
"I am really enjoying it. It’s been a tough 18 months with the injuries, stopping and starting and things but that’s all behind me now," he added.
"The end of last season was a bit of a tough time mentally and things but I had a good break, I worked hard during the summer, came back pre-season and sort of knew the script what was happening at Cardiff.
"So there wasn’t any major surprises there. I just got about my work, got as fit as I possibly could and I believe if you do the right things you will get some luck."