Tom Flanagan reveals what Sunderland fans, including his childhood pals, can expect from him

Tom Flanagan
Tom Flanagan
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Sunderland new boy Tom Flanagan says he can offer pace and leadership to the Black Cats defence after joining the club on a free transfer.

The Northern Ireland international completed his move from Burton Albion yesterday, becoming Jack Ross' fourth signing of the summer.

The 26-year-old is an unknown quantity for many Sunderland fans - though not three London-based supporters, who he grew up with.

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And he hopes to impress the Black Cats faithful and help get the club back into the Championship.

Flanagan said: "As soon as I knew of the interest I pursued it because the stature of the club speaks for itself no matter what league they are in.

"I've got three friends from nursery, all three were born exactly the same place as me and all three are Sunderland fans, avid Sunderland fans. They go to all the away games in London, try to come up as much as they can.

"That's the reach of the football club - I'm from London originally and I went to school with three crazy Sunderland fans."

Versatile Flanagan offers Ross options in defence, with his ability to play in either full-back position or centre-half.

"I don't have a favourite position, I'm happy to play anywhere across a back four or a back three," he revealed to safc.com.

"I'm quite relaxed on the ball, not one to take risks, I'm very quick, read the game well and I'm a good leader - I'll talk to people, shout at people, listen.

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"I'm just looking forward to it and I hope people will look forward to playing with me because I'm certainly looking forward to playing with some of the players. I just can't wait for that first game at the Stadium of Light."

Flanagan helped Burton to League One promotion in 2015/16, and is hoping to do the same with Sunderland.

"I know the league. I've played a lot in the league, I know what it takes and it takes consistency," he added. "It's not like the Championship where a point may take you up the league, you need to keep the three points rolling.

"There's some tough away games. When I found out about the interest from the club I looked at the fixtures, purely out of excitement and we've got some travelling to do but if we can manage that right it will really stand us in good stead."