Former Sunderland 'target' signs new deal as ex-referee evaluates Ryan Lowe's penalty decision following Black Cats game
Sunderland face Northampton Town on Sunday afternoon before heading into the play-offs.
The Black Cats have secured their play-off spot after a 3-1 win against Plymouth Argyle last weekend with goals from Ross Stewart, Chris Maguire and Denver Hume at Home Park.
Key duo Charlie Wyke and Aiden McGeady both missed out at Plymouth Argyle with minor injury issues.
McGeady has been suffering with swelling to the foot of late and also has a broken nose, while Wyke, who has not missed a league game in 2021, is managing a thigh issue.
Here, though, we take you through all of the latest transfer gossip and talk from around the division:
Sunderland ‘target’ in January signs new deal with Premier League
Alex Cochrane has signed a new deal with Brighton & Hove Albion.
The defender was linked with a loan move to Sunderland in January but the move didn’t transpire.
And now, the left-back has penned a fresh contract until 2022 with the Premier League side.
Cochrane has spent this past season on loan in Belgium with Royale Union Saint-Gilloise but has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign with injury.
Brighton’s loan manager David Weir has said: “Alex had a really good experience out in Belgium with Union and, as he’s spoken about, it has been really beneficial for both him as a person and as a footballer.
“While that development was curtailed slightly by injury, he showed how well he can adjust and learn during his time out on loan, which is a testament to him, especially during the pandemic.”
Former referee hits back at Plymouth Argyle manager following penalty claim
Ex-referee Keith Hackett has hit back at Ryan Lowe’s claim Sunderland should not have been awarded a penalty during their 3-1 win at Plymouth Argyle last weekend.
Lynden Gooch won the spot-kick which was converted by Chris Maguire.
However, the former FIFA and Premier League referee claimed Ryan Law’s foul started outside of the area but continued into the box.
Hackett told Football Insider: “Penalty kick, correct decision.
“Good communication [between the referee and his assistant]. We used to have a signal in the past that’s no longer used because of the communication kits. If it was inside the area the assistant referee would put the flag horizontally across his chest to indicate it was inside.
“That was the reason it was brought in. He’s said over the communication kit.
“Ultimately at the end of the day they’ve come to the right decision. The foul starts outside the area but it’s continued to inside the box so it’s a penalty kick.
“It’s a tight call, but it’s inside the penalty kick.
“What the referee will learn here is, you have to sell the decision. He’s not helped himself because he should’ve looked to his assistant and the assistant would have told him it’s inside straight away.
“If you’re going to give a penalty kick, give it, look at the assistant and at that point the assistant comes in and says ‘It’s inside’.
“The action of going through the process, James Bell, it’s put doubt in the manager’s mind but I’m happy it’s a penalty kick and the right decision.”