Exclusive: Duncan Watmore opens up about Sunderland contract situation - and his ambitions for rest of campaign

Duncan Watmore insists he is in no hurry to kick off contract talks at Sunderland AFC.

The forward is set to see his deal expire in the summer but, after several injury lay-offs over recent years, the 25-year-old is keen to focus on the short-term - and let the long-term take care of itself.

“I’ll be completely honest, it’s not something I’ve thought about at all,” said Watmore, speaking exclusively to the Echo at the Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen, where former players were handing over a £500 donation.

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“It’s something where I’ve been out for so long, I just want to play football.

Sunderland forward Duncan Watmore.Sunderland forward Duncan Watmore.
Sunderland forward Duncan Watmore.

“I’ll be taking it game-by-game and I can’t get ahead of myself because of what I’ve been through.

“Each game I’m playing I’m grateful for and I just want to turn those games into wins, because when we’re winning it’s a great feeling to be part of this football club.

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“I want to, as all of us in the team do, make sure we put a run together and start showing what we know we’re capable of.”

Watmore has been a regular in the matchday squads since the arrival of Phil Parkinson, which coincided with his return to fitness.

And the pacy forward believes he is building up a robustness which has been lacking in recent years - and will hopefully see him able to make an impact in the long-term at the Stadium of Light.

“From a personal point of view I’m happy I’ve been able to put together a few games,” he added.

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“My body feels more robust than it did in previous years and that only comes by playing minutes, playing games.

“Now, the main thing is concentrating on turning those performances into wins and start climbing the table.”

The Black Cats have won just once since Parkinson arrived on Wearside, but Watmore believes that a positive run of form is just around the corner.

“From my perspective, I feel like if we get one or two wins we could really go on a run.

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“It does feel close, which is a good thing because it means we’re not far away.

“But we now need to make sure that turns into results for us.”