Max Stryjek opens up on January loan frustration, Sunderland contract situation and how he told Jack Ross he's not happy being third choice

Sunderland AFC goalkeeper Max Stryjek.
Sunderland AFC goalkeeper Max Stryjek.
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Max Stryjek has opened up on his frustration at not being allowed to leave Sunderland on loan during the January transfer window - having told Jack Ross he is not content with being third choice.

The young Polish stopper spent the first-half of the campaign on loan at National League side Eastleigh, where he made a strong impression during a three-month stay.

But the 22-year-old - whose contract at the Stadium of Light is set to expire this summer - was left frustrated when, on his return to the Stadium of Light, he was not allowed to return out on loan.

That hasn’t tainted the memories of a fine spell on the south coast for the ‘keeper, though - who relished the chance to test himself in a competitive environment.

“I think it was really enjoyable, to be fair, because I was there for three months and played every week,” said Stryjek, who is keen to extend his stay on Wearside.

“I think it was a really good spell in terms of physicality and men’s football.

“It was a good experience in general and I thought that I was ready to step-up my game and be higher.

“But unfortunately, the people’s [thoughts] behind [the scenes] were different and I wasn’t allowed to go on a loan, so that’s it.”

Stryjek has been a regular with the Under-23 squad since his return to Wearside and, while happy to build-up fitness with Elliott Dickman’s side, the stopper is targeting bigger things.

And he has made no secret of his desire to stake a claim for a first-team place, having left manager Ross in no doubt as to his thought.

The youngster added: “I’ve chatted with Jack Ross about it and I said to him at the beginning of the season that I’m not happy with being number three goalkeeper, especially after a good

pre-season spell when I played really well with the first-team and was performing well in training.

“I just said to him, if you don’t want me in the team then let me go on loan and show what I can do.

“I came back from Eastleigh and the plan was to let me go again, somewhere higher, but for different reasons I didn’t go.

“So I tried to do my best in the Under-23 team and perform well during those games, and that hopefully will give me a chance to still be in that team.”

And Stryjek certainly sees his future at the Stadium of Light - and is keen to prove his worth to Ross in the coming weeks in a bid to earn a new deal with the club.

“Yes, that’s my goal for this short period of time we’ve got,” he admitted.

“If I can do that, that would be really good.”