Campbell’s joy at opening Sunderland pre-season account

Fraizer Campbell
Fraizer Campbell
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FRAIZER Campbell says he is delighted to be among the goals already in pre-season.

But he says the real benefit from the trip to South Korea was in coming through two demanding games unscathed.

The Sunderland striker played the full 90 minutes of Sunday’s 3-2 win over Groningen and was also on the pitch for all but the last 10 minutes of the match against Seongnam on Thursday.

And he told the Echo afterwards that it was a massive mental and physical boost getting through the games.

“I have never, ever played in such heat and humidity as I did on Sunday,” he said.

“It was incredible out there and for the lads to keep on going through something like that and get two goals in the last five minutes was some effort.

“I was really pleased to get on the scoresheet after missing out on Thursday.

“Craig Gardner put in a great cross and I just made sure I stretched to finish it.

“It’s always good to get off the mark in pre-season and that’s a start for me, which takes off any pressure. But the thing I’m really pleased about is getting to play so much of the two games and being able to deal with it.

“The cruciate injury I had in the past was no problem at all and I think long-term playing both games is going to stand me in good stead in terms of my fitness.

“It really took everything you had, playing in those games, and anyone who played a fair portion of the matches is going to be the better for it.”

The 24-year-old England international is now looking forward to the rest of pre-season and the new campaign getting underway in three weeks time. But he doesn’t want to set himself any early targets.

“I want to have a really good season after the last few I’ve had,” he said. “But for the moment I’m happy just to be ticking along nicely.

“The only thing I want to be, is a part of the manager’s plans next season. I want to prove I can be a very useful striker for Sunderland.”