Ex-Sunderland defender Jake Clarke-Salter opens up on 'tough' loan spell at the Stadium of Light

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When young defender Jake Clarke-Salter signed for Sunderland in January he was keen to make an impact.

Unfortunately for the promising centre-back, 21, his spell at the Stadium of Light will be remembered for the wrong reasons, following two red cards and Sunderland's relegation to League One.

Jake Clarke-Salter playing for Sunderland.

Jake Clarke-Salter playing for Sunderland.

Clarke-Salter signed for the Black Cats on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season and made 11 appearances under Chris Coleman.

With the Black Cats languishing in the relegation zone, the defender hoped he could help the club steer clear of danger in the Championship.

But, after Sunderland suffered a 4-0 defeat against Cardiff on his debut, Clarke-Salter was then sent off in games against Middlesbrough and Preston.

“It was tough, I was 20 years old and obviously I had to deal with the responsibility because they were my mistakes,” Clarke-Salter told the Guardian while away on international duty with England Under-21s.

“The first sending-off [against Middlesbrough] was a derby game and I made a badly timed tackle. The second one was just a bit of inexperience on my side. I’d just come back into the team, so I was gutted. But I’ve learned from it.”

After returning to Chelsea, Clarke-Salter signed for Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, and has played regularly in the Eredivisie.

The defender believes he made the right decision moving abroad, and his time at Sunderland was an important leaning curve in his career.

"I feel like I’ve learned to be a man," he added. "I think that’s helping me now, because I’m confident and playing well."