Bailey Wright's brilliant response to questions over his future - and what made him sign for Sunderland
Bailey Wright has revealed he would be interested in remaining at Sunderland beyond his initial six-month spell - as he believes there is something ‘really good’ building at the Stadium of Light.
The Australian international made his first appearance for the Black Cats during the 1-0 win at Tranmere Rovers, helping the side a fourth successive clean sheet in a confident and composed performance at Prenton Park.
It was his first competitive ninety minutes since October, and Wright believes that there is more to come as he continues to build-up his match sharpness.
“I think we'll all want to improve and individually, there's a lot I want to improve on from what I did tonight,” he admitted.
“But it's a good platform to build on and tonight probably took more of a mental approach than a bit of quality, because it's difficult on a pitch like this.
“We've been on a good run of form and for myself, it's a good platform to build on.”
Wright became Phil Parkinson’s second signing of the winter transfer window after agreeing a half-season loan switch from Bristol City.
The move came after an extended pursuit, in which Sunderland were forced to wait as the Robins held onto their club captain after injury to centre back Ash Baker.
But the man himself was always keen to make the switch, and was prepared to wait for a move which he felt was a ‘no-brainer’.
“There's a lot that I took into consideration and for me it was a no-brainer,” admitted Wright.
“I couldn't wait to come to the club in terms of how big the club is, how big of an opportunity we've got this year, the manager and what he wants to build here and the squad we've got.
“I wanted to be part of that - a team that is pushing and on a good run of form and a club that wants promotion and is preparing for that.
“That was what I wanted, and that's the aim.”
Parkinson made no secret of the fact that Wright was his top defensive target as he sought reinforcements for his new-look back three.
That feeling of being wanted ultimately proved a key driving force in the 27-year-old’s decision-making.
“That was a big reason why I came here,” added the defender.
“I had a few conversations with the manager and I know what he's about, what teams he has built before and I've played against him.
“To feel wanted was a big part of my decision, and to feel wanted by a club like this - it was a no-brainer to come here and play my football.”
Wright has penned a six-month loan agreement at the Stadium of Light but, with his contract up in the summer, there is hope on both sides that the deal may become permanent at the end of the current campaign.
For the former Preston North End man, that would be an ideal scenario - as he bids to be part of the ‘really good’ atmosphere building at the Academy of Light.
“Yeah,” said Wright, when quizzed on whether he would like to remain on Wearside beyond this season.
“I've come here to be part of a successful group and I think there's something really good happening here.
“I'm enjoying myself and I want to get back to my best, and to do that I need to be winning games of football and making sure this team is successful. I'll just take it from there.”
The early signs are positive, however, with Wright slotting seamlessly into a Sunderland side that have now extended their unbeaten run to nine games.
On and off the field, the defender has quickly settled - and he has thanked his new teammates for his role in the quick transition.
“It's not been difficult, to be honest,” he said.
“Everyone has been spot on in helping me settle and getting to terms with what the gaffer wants and what the lads are all about.
“The standard day in, day out has been set by the lads and it's good to come straight into that and enjoy it.
“For me, it's just picking up on a few things and just playing how I play and helping the team however I can.
“I feel like I've played with them longer than I have given how easy I've fitted in.”
“From the moment I've walked in the door I wanted to pick up the speed with everything,” he continued.
“I just felt at home, going out there and playing with the lads.”
Geography hasn’t proved a stumbling block for Wright either, despite the seemingly big upheaval linked with moving from the South West to the North East.
It’s a move far shorter than Wright has grown accustomed to.
“Australia to England wasn't short either!,” he joked.
“Wherever I go, I'll settle. That's the thing with football - once you get your first few sessions out the way, sing your initiation song and play the first game then it's all good.
“Bristol to Sunderland was a good old drive, but I've moved from Australia to England so I'm just happy to be here.”
Which begs an obvious question. Which tune did Wright bestow on his teammates?
“Peter Andre, it had to be!
“Mysterious Girl. I think a few of the lads enjoyed it - I got a few boos, a few whistles.
“I just wanted to keep it Aussie!”