GARY ROWELL: Swansea a big test for Sunderland

Gary Rowell
Gary Rowell
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SATURDAY’S opponents Swansea are sitting comfortably in mid-table, with no worries whatsoever of a relegation scrap.

Despite last weekend’s win over Burnley, Sunderland are still very much involved in it.

Losing Wilfried Bony in the transfer window has got to be a big blow for Swansea, even though they got huge money for him, while another key player - Gylfi Sigurdsson - is also missing on Saturday through suspension.

The absence of two quality players who who have both been so influential for Swansea this saason has to be an advantage for Sunderland.

But Gus Poyet will know that Swansea still managed to get a win without them at Southampton. That’s a difficult place to go as our fans know all too well.

One Swansea player who will be there on Saturday is a player I admire and one who interested Sunderland in the summer, Ashley Williams.

He’s a centre-back in the old mould, tough and uncompromising, but he’s also their leader on the pitch, setting the example for others to follow.

Swansea boss Garry Monk has gone from the dressing room to managing the club - never an easy thing to do - but he’s carrying on the good work of Michael Laudrup and Brendan Rodgers before him.

They seem to be a well-run club from top to bottom.

I’d probably take a point from this game now, but after two wins in league and cup, a third consecutive victory would be a massive boost for Sunderland.

DEADLINE DAY was a bit of an anti-climax for Sunderland fans, with no-one coming in and only Charis Mavrias and Cabral going out.

Sunderland have decided to make do with just the Jermain Defoe signing, but I was surprised they didn’t take up the option of the one domestic loan they still had available, even if it was just a back-up player to provide cover.

At least it’s all over now and everybody knows where they stand. Managers can now get out on the training pitch and work with the squad of players they have available to them between now and the end of the season.