What Sunderland boss Alex Neil said about the transfer market, targets Bristol City clash

Sunderland face Bristol City at Ashton Gate this weekend – and Black Cats boss Alex Neil held his pre-match press conference today.

Friday, 5th August 2022, 9:29 am

The Robins were beaten 2-1 at Hull last time out and will be looking to bounce back in their first home game of the season.

Neil admitted after Sunday’s draw with Coventry that he still wants to add ‘four or five’ more players to his squad before the end of the transfer window.

Sunderland have six more league matches before the deadline on September 1.

Sunderland boss Alex Neil.

Here’s what was said at the Academy of Light:

RECAP: Alex Neil press conference

Last updated: Friday, 05 August, 2022, 09:59

  • Sunderland face Bristol City in the Championship on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
  • Black Cats boss Alex Neil will held his pre-match press conference earlier today.
  • Neil still wants to add ‘four or five’ more players to his squad before the end of the transfer window.

That brings us to the end of the broadcast section of the press conference but Neil has also spoken to the written press, including our chief SAFC writer Phil Smith.

You can find more from the Black Cats boss, as well as build-up to Saturday’s match over on the SAFC section of the Sunderland Echo website.

Neil on Ellis Simms

“I think there have been a lot of players who have moved down from Scotland that when they did move, I thought it’s going to be a big test for them in England, and they have done remarkably well.

“Equally there have been others who I thought would do really well and they have found it more difficult than I thought.

“It’s hard to quantify and it’s different with every player.

“What Ellis has shown is that he has qualities and attributes that will lend themselves to the Championship.

“What he has got is he’s got a great knack of everywhere he has been he has scored goals.”

“It’s a nice trait to have.”

How does this team compare to your previous teams?

“All the clubs I have managed my teams have been very different, we have played in different ways so it’s hard for me to compare.

“Albeit I have used similar formations at other clubs, and this formation here is probably different from what I have utilised before

“All the teams have been different in their own way, albeit there might have been some principles there that have been consistent.

“Due to personal and personalities in the team we have operated in a different manner.”

Are any deals close?

“Naturally we would like to get everything done over the next 24/48 hours but the likelihood is it will be drawn out and be much longer than that.

“I don’t expect anything imminent shall we say.

“There has been a couple that have sort of rumbled on so they might come to fruition sooner than I think, but I;m not really in control of that.”

Neil on Bristol City

“I think they will be well organised.

“Certainly based on last year I thought in transition they were very dangerous.

“I think 42% of their goals came from transition, so that shows you the threat they will carry

“I think they have a good blend now where they have brought some younger players through playing regular football, as well as some experienced lads in and about them.

“They will be very competitive and it will be tough. It will be their first home game so naturally every team wants to get off to a good start.”

Neil on transfer targets

“For us we have had some long-term targets that we are still pursuing.

“We have had some targets that because of the dynamics some things have changed and we have moved onto others and obviously we have brought some players in.”

Neil on the transfer market

“Like always you want to bring more competition in and bring more players in that are going to test the lads that are currently here.

“Equally you want to strengthen the squad and the starting XI if you can.

“As far as I’m concerned, I look at the lads we have got and what we are doing just now

“It might look different come the end of the window because  hopefully we have added a few that can give us more competition and strength in depth.

“Currently the lads we have at the moment, as they showed on Sunday, are performing well.

Getting more signings: “There are certain positions we need more cover in and certain positions we need to strengthen and need more competition.

“We are hopeful we will get a few deals done between now and the end of the window.”

“I think we were content, that is probably the best way to describe it.

“I thought we had really good spells in the first half and our shape was good throughout the match

“Looking back,I think the two opportunities  hey had was a shot from 40 yards which Patto makes a good save, and a mistake we made at the edge of the box.

“Beyond that there was one moment of quality from their striker that unfortunately took two points away from us.

“There were a lot of things to be pleased with. I still think there are obviously a lot of things to work on.

“I thought it was a good showing from us in our first game back.”

Pearson on facing Sunderland

Here’s what Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson has had to say about facing Sunderland this weekend:

“They’ll have been disappointed not to hold on for a win but I though that overall Coventry certainly from the second half deserved to get something out of the game.

“What bearing that has on our game I don’t know, I’m really thinking about how we get our players to get the performance right. “Teams that get promoted from League One have the added buoyancy and confidence, so I would expect it to be a tough game.

“Alex has had some success as well in terms of promotions and setting up sides that are difficult to play against. I don’t expect an easy game, put it that way.”

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