Summer signing on impressive defensive partnership as competition for places grows

Jack Baldwin believes that the experience of Glenn Loovens will be invaluable to the whole Sunderland squad as competition for defensive places increases.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 1:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 1:56 pm
Jack Baldwin has made an impressive start to his Black Cats career
Jack Baldwin has made an impressive start to his Black Cats career

Sunderland are hoping that Loovens will be fit to face Oxford United on Saturday, despite suffering with a groin problem at Kingsmeadow last weekend.

The 34-year-old has made an impressive start to his Black Cats career and is already developing an impressive partnership with Baldwin, who has starred in the last three league wins.

"Glenn is brilliant to play alongside," Baldwin said.

"He’s sometimes a bit too calm in possession for me! But he’s got that leadership and knowledge of the game, that’ll seep out to me and as someone still learning and developing.

"The lads in front as well, a player like young Bali has a lot to learn and he can learn so much from Glenn in terms of his positioning and where he wants him. It’s only good for the squad."

Manager Jack Ross looks set to have a number of selection decisions to make, with Alim Ozturk delivering his best performance yet after replacing Loovens in the 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon.

Ross praised the 25-year-old after the game, saying: "Glenn possibly could have continued but his groin had tightened up and it was a big ask anyway for him to play three games in a week.

"But I was pleased for Alim because it's been a difficult start and he's somebody I know from working with him previously (at Hearts) and I speak to him a lot.

"He's felt it because he cares about his football. I was pleased when he came on and contributed to us winning the game. It's nice for him psychologically."

Adam Matthews is also set to be in contention, while Tom Flanagan is nearing a return after joining in full training this week.