Lee Johnson reiterates this clear transfer message as Sunderland pursue new additions

Lee Johnson has again stressed that Sunderland will not compromise on quality in the transfer market.

Friday, 6th August 2021, 5:34 pm

The Black Cats start their League One campaign against Wigan Athletic on Saturday afternoon having made three new additions, but with a number of key squad positions still vacant.

Full backs are currently the main area of concern, with Sunderland thought to be in advanced talks with Tottenham Hotspur for a potential permanent transfer of talented youngster Dennis Cirkin.

Sunderland are also hoping to recruit, as a minimum, a right back, a centre-back and a striker.

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Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson

Kristjaan Speakman told The Echo earlier this week that the club would not commit to players who did not fit the philosophy, and his views have been echoed by Johnson.

Johnson says he 'truly believes' he will get the players he needs before the deadline at the end of this month.

"We know we'll be judged and we know to expect that," he said.

"We feel we've done some great business. At times we've not been able to get things through that we thought we'd be able to, and at times we've said, 'no, let's wait for a higher level of quality'.

"We feel we're within our rights to do that. Ten games into the season I would expect to see what we're really about.

"What we've got to do in this moment is manage it, and whatever team goes out we will die in a ditch to try and win the game, so there'll be no excuses from us.

"The lads have had a fantastic pre-season, we've had no muscle injuries which is a good indicator of that.

"We want quality, we want to add numbers.

"I'm conscious of not putting pressure on anybody with timeframes but there's things spinning all the time.

"I understand the anxiety, I've gone public in saying that myself.

"But at the same time I truly believe we will get quality players in, I really do.

"But, we shouldn't foresake the quality, that is the key word.

"We want assets at the football club, for the team and for our goal of sustainability."

Johnson says he believes the club's clear plan for new recruits and where they will fit into the picture when they arrive will speed up their integration progress, though there is no doubt that he would have liked a longer period of time to have worked with them.

He insists, though, that he is positive ahead of the first game and convinced that the squad currently in place can make an impact.

"I've made no secret of it because of course, you want to work with your players," he said.

"But at the same time we will be signing players who fit our philosophy and so you would hope that quicken the integration process, if you like.

"Listen, not everything is ideal but we're not going to moan.

"We're going to concentrate on the things that are going extremely well, that's certainly the route I'm taking ahead of tomorrow's game."

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