Sunderland new boy provides a positive fitness update ahead of Portsmouth clash
Bailey Wright says he is ‘itching’ to take to the field again as Sunderland head to Portsmouth this afternoon.
The centre back made his first start for the Black Cats in the 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday evening. - in what was his first full 90 minutes for over four months.
Wright had last played a full competitive game in October, when Australia faced Nepal in a World Cup qualifier, but he showed no ill-effects following the victory at Prenton Park.
And the centre back says he is raring to go should he be called upon again at Fratton Park.
“It's quite a nice sense of relief, actually,” said Wright of completing a full game.
“I've played training ground ninety minutes and been topping up myself to make sure I'm match fit and ready. I've been itching to play and get ninety minutes, so it's nice to do that.
“But it’s even better to get three points and a clean sheet in front of a packed out away end, and you could really feel the support.”
While the clash at Tranmere was a cagey one played on a tricky surface, Wright is expecting a different test entirely on the south coast.
But he feels there is an opportunity for the Black Cats to make a statement in the promotion race against Kenny Jackett’s play-off hopefuls.
“If you want to be part of a successful team, you've got to be adaptable to any sort of game,” he said.
“It's going to be a different game against Portsmouth, another team who are doing well, but we'll back ourselves against anyone, dust ourselves off and recover and be ready to work again.
“With every game comes an opportunity to make a statement and improve as a team.
“Portsmouth is our next game and it's going to be a tough challenge against them at their place as they're also a team on a good run of form.
“We'll back ourselves against anyone, do our homework against them and keep doing what we're doing - because that's what has been giving us success.”