How Sunderland's Lynden Gooch helped Trai Hume in Norwich City win despite competition for right-back spot
Trai Hume says there is healthy competition between himself and Lynden Gooch for the right-back position at Sunderland.
After waiting for his opportunity at the start of the campaign, Hume has started 11 of the side’s last 12 league games while Gooch has been sidelined with a knee injury since January.
Gooch returned to Sunderland’s squad and came off the bench during the Black Cats’ 1-0 win at Norwich, and was giving Hume advice from the touchline when the hosts attacked down the left flank.
“Goochy has been at this club for years,” Hume told the Echo when asked about his team-mate. “He’s an experienced player and him having that experience and telling you stuff like that talking to you it helps
“Him coming back it’s going to put a lot more pressure on me to try and keep my spot, and obviously he’s going to work harder to try and take it off me so it’s good competition.”
After joining Sunderland from Northern Irish club Linfield in January last year, this is the first time Hume has played consistently at Championship level.
The Black Cats’ busy schedule has provided challenges, yet the 20-year-old says the squad are ready for the final ten games of the season.
“It’s tough at times, back a couple of weeks ago it was Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday non-stop and it was tough," Hume added. “It was tough on a lot of the players and you could tell.
“Coming now we have a game on Wednesday but we had a few weeks break where it was just Saturday to Saturday so we are feeling refreshed.
“It was tough but it’s just getting yourself in that routine when you are playing Saturday then Tuesday, and then the days you have training and are off you are trying to rest and recover as much as you can to get ready.”
Sunderland’s win at Norwich was a much-needed one following a three-match losing run and heavy 5-1 defeat against Stoke the week before.
“Obviously it wasn’t great losing a big game with a big result like that,” said Hume when reflecting on the Stoke game and team’s reaction.
“Us as players and the staff we had to put it behind us forget about it and come here to most importantly get the win.”
"It’s good to come here against a good side and get three points. Obviously we’ve had three losses in a row so the main thing coming here was to get the win.
“I wouldn’t say it was our greatest performance because they kind of dominated the ball and that’s what we look to do, but it was good to get the three points and that was the only thing that mattered.
"We had to defend a lot through the game and as a team we tried to press from the front. Whenever they beat the press we had to drop off because they are a good team and they dominate the ball well.
“From the back through to midfield we had to defend well and we did that.”