SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: So far so good for Hysen, Stead open to return and Keane’s woe

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


Winger is adjusting to change of style

TOBY HYSEN believes he is winning the battle to successfully adjust to English football.

 The Swede has been at Sunderland since the last week in August and was instantly struck by important differences between the game played over here and the football played in his home country.

 So now he is focussing his mind on adapting his style so that he can succeed in the English game.

 He said: “It is still the same game, it is still football, but it is the upped tempo that I need to adjust to. I also need to improve my first touch, that is vital for me.

 “In Sweden you can have a bad touch and make up for it; you cannot do that here. That is what I have been trying to improve the most and that is my first priority.”

 It has been a facet of football in England – especially since the creation of the Premiership – that talented foreigners have had spectacularly varying results. Some have enriched the game vastly, while others have disappeared without trace.

 But Hysen is determined to show the attitude and application which will give him the best chance of doing well on Wearside.

 Dropped after playing in a 3-0 win over West Bromich Albion on his debut, Hysen responded by working hard in training and waiting for his chance. It duly arrived in the 1-1 draw against Leicester City when he scored the leveller after coming of the subs bench.

 And although he didn’t start in the subsequent defeat at Ipswich Town, he was back in the starting line-up fort he 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

 He went into today’s game against Preston still unsure of whether he would keep his place, but he says even if he doesn’t start, he will show the right attitude.

 “You just have to make sure when you get your chance to play, you make the best of it and then you might be able to get some more chances, he said. “You just have to keep performing, that is all. But if it turns out that you are not in the starting 11, you need to impress the manager when you come on, and I have tried to do that as much as I can.

 “I have tried to get in, make an impact and tried to get the other players to feel there can be a change when I am coming in.

 “Hopefully I will get to play but of I do not, I will just try to impress in training.”


JON STEAD is not ready to write-off his Sunderland career.

 The striker joined Derby County on loan yesterday until January 2, with the option of a permanent transfer.

 Black Cats’ boss Roy Keane decided the goal-shy forward – who scored only twice in 40 Sunderland appearances – is surplus to current requirements, but Stead is keeping his options open.

 Asked if he felt he still had a future back at the Stadium of Light, he insisted: “I think I do. I think I’m still good enough to play in their team.

 “I need to get games to prove that but, if I feel comfortable at the end of my time at Derby, it might be different.

 “That decision is up to Roy Keane. If I’m part of his plans, I am and if I’m not, I’m not – that’s when you decide if you’re going to move on or not.

 “We (Stead and Keane) had a chat about me not really having a chance at Sunderland. I’ve had a little injury and he hasn’t seen much of me. The conversation that we’ve had is about the fact there’s five or six strikers at the club and there’s always going to be somebody who’s not playing.

 “He’s been good enough to let me get out, get some games and take it from there. I’m here until the start of January. A permanent deal is a possibility. I’ve got three months here and I plan to enjoy my time here and then make a decision at the end of it.”


Keane woe as sloppy Lads are crushed

SUNDERLAND slumped to a crushing defeat at Deepdale this afternoon as Preston taught them a Championship lesson.

 Preston played like a side chasing promotion while Sunderland looked very much a bottom-half team. For spells, Sunderland matched and even out-did their opponents but they conceded poor goals and victory was too each for the home team.

 Former Sunderland striker Danny Dichio set Preston on their way in the 17th minute when he rose unmarked to head home Graham Alexander’s cross from the right.

 And just after the half hour, Alexander himself got on the scoresheet when he drove home a penalty conceded by a Nyron Nosworthy foul.

 The home team were three-up by the break when under-pressure Dean Whitehead steered the ball into his own goal from David Nugent’s low cross from the right.

 Both sides were attack-minded and a host of chances were created.

 Sunderland performed better in the second half, but they conceded their fourth goal in the 55th minute when, from a Preston goal-kick, Dichio beat Stan Varga with a header and the ball dropped to midfielder Simon Whaley, who swept his shot across Ben Alnwick from distance.

 Not even a consolidation goal two minutes later when Varga headed home Liam Lawrence’s left-wing corner could mask the fact that this was a dreadful performance from Roy Keane’s men.

 They now head to Stoke on Tuesday, with the Potters having enjoyed a morale-boosting 4-0 romp at Leeds today.