'The odd nosebleed!': Bailey Wright on his new Sunderland role - and why it's a special Christmas for him this year

Sunderland's slightly unusual festive schedule undoubtedly has its perks for the squad.

Though they have been given firm direction on both diet and socialising (due to the Omicron threat), that they are not back in action until December 27th, when they face Doncaster Rovers, means there will be a slightly less onerous Christmas Day training schedule.

And for Bailey Wright, that means making the most of a special reunion.

And perhaps a welcome chance, too, to catch up on the latest highlights from down under.

Sunderland defender Bailey Wright

Wright said: "Well if we're talking Australia and England it would be rude not to mention The Ashes, it's certainly good to be an Australian at the moment!

"I'm looking forward to the next test...

"It's been a long time since I've had an Aussie Christmas to be honest, but I have my mam and dad over here this year which is the first time I've been able to see them, probably for two years, which is really nice.

"It's my first Christmas with my little girl as well, so there's a lot for us to look forward to with my family here.

"And I do like a Christmas over here, it's a lot more like you see in the movies!"

When Sunderland do return to action Wright may well be continuing in his new role, on the right of a slightly lopsided back four.

His form in that role has been one of the key reasons why Sunderland have been able to overcome their injury issues to go seven games unbeaten in League One.

It's not an unfamiliar role to Wright, who did for the best part of half a season for Lee Johnson at Bristol City.

But the Australian says the success he has enjoyed, as well as a number of other players playing slightly out of position, reflects well on the spirit in the Sunderland group.

"I've played right of the back three and right back quite a lot for the manager at Bristol City, though it's not something I've done much here," Wright explained.

"I do prefer centre back but I do enjoy it, the different parts of the game.

"The main thing is having clarity as a team on how we want to play and I just do the best job I can.

"At the moment I've been enjoying it and hopefully it continues.

"It probably does give you the chance to get on the ball a little bit more and get a little higher up the pitch, sometimes you get the odd nosebleed when you end up on the edge of their box and don't know what to do!

"But it's all good fun.

"I think we've shown how strong our culture is that we've pulled together, done a job, and the togetherness has definitely helped.

"If you're out of position, you know your mate has your back and that's important.

"Things seem to be coming together nicely."

Despite a recent COVID-19 outbreak, Doncaster are hopeful of having a near full-strength squad available for Sunderland’s visit.

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