Jack Baldwin gives his verdict on Sunderland's pre-season ahead of Portugal trip
Jack Baldwin has delivered his verdict on Sunderland’s pre-season so far - labelling this year’s campaign as one of the hardest he has experienced.
The Black Cats beat South Shields in their first pre-season friendly at Mariners Park with goals from Ethan Robson and Luke O’Nien giving Ross’ men the win as Sunderland look to build a platform to gain promotion to the Championship at the second time of asking.
“It was a good run out against South Shields, and everyone was able to get some minutes under their belt,” Baldwin told safc.com.
“It is completely different to training. It is good to get that match sharpness back. It was nice to get the win, but pre-season is all about fitness and getting match ready and the game on Thursday really helped in that respect."
He continued: “The first week of pre-season was one of the toughest I have had in my career. The changing room is a lively environment which is great, and everyone is in good spirits.”
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The 26-year-old then turned his attention to last season’s heartbreak, stating that the mood within the Sunderland camp after the double Wembley disappointment wasn’t pretty.
“We are getting the balls out a bit more now and started to focus on what we are going to be doing on the pitch and get ready for the start of the season.”
“The way the season ended last year was really tough for everybody.
“I personally wasn’t the easiest person to live with for a few weeks after,” he concluded.