Andrew Nelson gives candid view on his Sunderland career and January exit
Andrew Nelson has opened up on his frustration at watching his boyhood club drop through the ranks of English football.
Nelson has joined Dundee as the Scottish side fight for survival in the Scottish Premiership.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a sparkling debut for his new club, scoring and picking up an assist in a 2-1 win over Hearts.
In a candid interview with The Courier, Nelson says he is optimistic about the rest of the season and can see none of the negativity he witnessed as Sunderland dropped out of the Premier League and beyond
He admits it was frustrating watching that decline as a youngster in the academy and praised Jack Ross for turnign the mood around this season.
"At Sunderland in the Premier League some of the senior players wouldn’t even look at you when they passed you in the corridor." he said.
“I am a Sunderland fan and it was difficult to wait for a chance when people were not giving their all.
“You’d give your right arm or right leg to play for Sunderland, but some of them didn’t seem to grasp that concept.
“You’d watch them on a match day and you’d see them not running about and not doing much," he added.
“I kept thinking that if that was one of us we’d be darting about and going for everything.
“You’d maybe not be as technically as good as some people, but you could be guaranteed I’d put my foot in or put my head in where it hurts.
“There were a lot of problems at all levels. Some of the players’ commitment was questionable and Jack Ross has done really well to clear that out.
“They have started from scratch again and are building it up again.
Nelson was unfortunate that a chance to impress Ross was disrupted by injury.
The striker picked up an awful foot injury during a pre-season game against Hartlepool United, keeping him out for a number of months.
Ross said it was the 'sensible' decision to let him push for regular minutes elsewhere.
“I thought I might get a chance this season but I got injured in the summer,” Nelson said.
“I was tackled and when I went to push off and keep going I dislocated three toes and tore the ligaments in my foot.
“When I went to the specialist he said it was the kind of injury only dancers get!
“So I’ve had a bit of bad luck but that’s football and I just want to look forward now.
“It’s the first time I have changed clubs so it’s an eye-opener but it’s exciting.
“I just want to get on with things. This is a fresh start for me and I want to be part of helping the club get away from the bottom of the league.
“I have been injured for most of the season so I’ve got time to make up on.
“It’s time for me to play senior games and kick on with my career now.
“I loved my time with Falkirk – the game up in Scotland suits me." he added.
“Last season we played Rangers at Ibrox in the cup and to play somewhere like that was the best experience of my career so far.
“After I spoke to the manager and he told me how he wants to play – and the security of the contract – it was a no-brainer to come here.
“The manager has made it clear he wants to develop me as much as possible so this is a fantastic opportunity.
“The next six games will be massive for us. The two teams above us are still very close so a lot can change.”