Read Remi Matthews' first words on Sunderland move and his ambitions to be number one

Remi Matthews says he is eager to challenge Lee Burge for the number one shirt.

Monday, 24th August 2020, 11:58 am

Matthews joined Sunderland last Friday in what Phil Parkinson described as a ‘really big signing’ for the club.

Parkinson had been eager to bring in Matthews, who he had worked with at Bolton Wanderers, after Jon McLaughlin moved to Rangers earlier in the summer.

Matthews had significant interest from elsewhere, and Sunderland’s pursuit was complicated significantly by the introduction of new salary cap rules.

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Remi Matthews in action for Bolton Wanderers

The 26-year-old said he was ‘delighted’ after signing a one-year deal.

Matthews was unable to feature in the 3-1 win over Gateshead on Saturday as he went through the required COVID-19 protocols, allowing Burge to catch the eye with an impressive display.

“It took a lot of time with a lot of stuff that's been happening,” Matthews told safc.com.

“Obviously being a free agent you get a lot of interest as well, but I'm delighted to be here and to finally get it over the line.”

On hi sbattle with Lee Burge, he said: “I've come in to ideally play games and that's what I want to do.

“I think they're aware of how hungry I am to play and do well.

“I want to get this club back to where it belongs, to have an input and make a difference.”

Matthews says the opportunity to work with Parkinson again was a ‘massive’ factor in the move.

“It was massive,” he said.

“The manager obviously gave me the opportunity to play in the Championship and I enjoyed working with him.

“It didn't go as well as we first planned it to but that was because of circumstances that was no fault of their own.

"It’s a no-brainer really.

"Everyone knows how big a club it is and that it shouldn’t be in the league it’s.

"Having worked with the manager and the backroom staff before, no one had to sell it to me because it was a no-brainer anyway.”

Parkinson will be hoping to introduce Matthews for his first appearance when Carlisle United visit Wearside for a pre-season friendly on Tuesday.