SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Nyatanga to face Barnsley, Wallace confident

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.


New boy eager to make Cats debut

LEWIN NYATANGA hopes for an instant chance to impress against Barnsley tomorrow after joining Sunderland on loan.

 The 18-year-old centre-back trained with the Black Cats yesterday and is in contention for a debut at home to the Tykes.

 Sunderland have leaked six goals in their last two games and the Welsh international has moved from Derby County until January in a bid to get more experience.

 Nyatanga said: “I hope to get involved at the weekend. I trained with and got to know all the lads and I think I’ll enjoy my time here. They’re a great bunch.

 “I want to play games and at Derby that was not happening. I got the chance to come here and I took it.

 “It’s a great opportunity for me, it’s a big club and for me to have the chance to come and play for this club is brilliant.”

 Nyatanga – who was the youngest player to earn a senior cap for Wales when he made his debut against Paraguay at the age of 17 years 195 days in March – has only featured in four Championship games for the Rams this season.

 But he is highly regarded, playing four times for Wales this season after his 25 club appearances last term.

 The Burton-born defender said: “I’ve not played as many games as liked this season, that was just the situation at Derby, hopefully this is a progressive move for me.

 “I’m a centre-back, my strengths are that I’m quite good on the ball and bringing it out from the back.

 “I’ve played with some great players with Wales and you learn from them, it’s helped me in the last year. I met Danny Collins on my first trip with Wales, he was great with me when I didn’t know many of the lads.”

 Nyatanga is excited at the prospect of linking up with Roy Keane’s Sunderland, whose defence has had a soft centre of late.

 He added: “This is a great club, any player would want to play here. There’s just been a change of management and it looks like everything is moving in the right direction, it’s very positive.

 “Sunderland have had a couple of bad results but I’m sure we can change that.”


ROSS WALLACE accepts that Sunderland’s best hope of promotion is probably the play-offs.

 Seven defeats in the opening 12 games have left the Black Cats trailing table-topping Cardiff by 16 points and second-placed Preston by ten ahead of tomorrow’s home game against Barnsley.

 Victory over the Tykes is a must to avoid losing further ground, and Wallace knows that the pressure is on.

 He said: “Beating Derby and Leeds when the gaffer first brought me here seems like a long time ago now.

 “It was always going to be a big challenge trying to maintain that level of performance, particularly from the Leeds game.