Callum McFadzean reveals his honest verdict on Denver Hume's return as Sunderland left-back set for fresh competition
Callum McFadzean says the return of Denver Hume and the emergence of Jake Vokins is to be welcomed - as Sunderland prepare for their promotion run-in.
Hume is set to step-up his return from a long-term injury this week, with a behind closed doors friendly scheduled on Tuesday.
Vokins, meanwhile, impressed at Accrington Stanley last week – before dropping out the side for the visit of Lincoln on Saturday, where the recalled McFadzean netted the Black Cats’ only goal.
And McFadzean believes the fact that Lee Johnson now has three reliable options to call upon can only be a good thing, and says he welcomes the competition.
"That's what you want,” he said.
"Some people might think that's not what players want, but it's healthy. We all want to do well, so if someone else is in the team and doing well then I'm ready to step in.
“Jake was excellent the other day. They freshened it up, he came in, did his job, and hats-off to him.”
McFadzean’s form on Wearside has been mixed, with the man himself admitting that things have been stop-start since his arrival on a free transfer.
But he now feels that Sunderland fans are starting to see some of his better performances.
"It's been stop-start, stop-start,” admitted the former Plymouth Argyle man.
"Now I feel like I'm starting to get a little bit of momentum. It helps because the team is getting it as well, and I'm starting to find my feet and get my form.
"More importantly the team are as well, and that's one of my main things - I'm a big team player. If I'm chipping in and helping the team, then that's a big plus.”
McFadzean certainly did more than chip in against the Imps, scoring a vital goal in a period where Sunderland were dominant.
While it wasn’t enough to win the game, it at least guaranteed the Black Cats a point against a key rival.
So for that reason, McFadzean wasn’t too downcast at the result – particularly given it came on the back of a busy run of games for Sunderland.
And he was keen to take the positives from the clash, such as the fact one of Johnson’s big aims for his full-backs paid-off.
"That's what the gaffer wants from full-backs, to get in the zones,” he explained.
"Goochy tried to cross it, it came to Max and I was just the right side. I just gambled and got on the end of it.
“We've just said in the group there, we're on a great run and we strive for more,” he continued.
"In terms of that, we're a little bit disappointed. But the run continues and we go again.
“They've got some good players and they're up there for a reason. In terms of that, we knew what to expect. They've got plenty of energy, plenty of legs and they like to stretch it.
"At times, it suited them a little bit more - but we matched them I thought. We take the point and move on to Bristol now.”