Sunderland coach hails unsung defensive hero and reiterates transfer message
Jamie McAllister says Sunderland will be recruiting from a position of strength in the closing days of the transfer window.
The Black Cats are still in the marker for further additions, with Lee Johnson saying on Friday that the club were in talks with 'high-quality' players.
A 3-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers sent Sunderland to the top of the table on Saturday night, reflecting their start to the season.
The club hope to strengthen further before the window closes on Tuesday night but McAllister stressed that they will not make signings for the sake of it.
"We've done some really good business in the last couple of weeks," McAllister said.
"It was a slow window but that's been the case for most clubs apart from one or two who got a lot of business done early.
"We've been patient and waited for the right quality to be available.
"If we can do that again with one or two more, then great, but they have got be the right quality.
"They've got to be the right fit for the club and what we're trying to do in the long term."
McAllister hailed experienced defender Tom Flanagan for another excellent display at the heart of the Black Cats' defence.
"He has been different class," he said.
"He had a great pre-season and in every single game so far he has stepped up.
"We've seen his leadership qualities, and he's been a real father figure to Callum Doyle. Constantly organising, talking to him, giving him good advice both on and off the pitch.
"Flanno had been in good form when we first came into the club, but then he got injured and then dipped a bit when he came back.
"We rate him very highly and he's been excellent this season."
Sunderland's assistant head coach also said the decision to keep Anthony Patterson in goal was for both form and fitness reasons.
"Bit of both," he said.
"We were disappointed when Burgey got his injury but Patto stepped up and we thought he'd been excellent.
"He made a great save against Blackpool in midweek and those reflex saves are what he's so good at.
"We just felt today that it was maybe a little soon for Burgey, and also that Patto deserved to continue."