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After teasing the prospect in my first press conference, I managed to re-sign Fabio Borini on loan from Liverpool. I thought that I’d take a punt and include a future fee of £3million thinking, “they’ll never go for that” but what did you know? They did! I was surprised to say the least! Sky Sports Presenter, David Craig, interviewed me regarding Fabio’s return:
“I’m delighted to welcome back Fabio Borini to this football club. Fabio is popular amongst his teammates and adored by the fans, so when the opportunity arose to resign him again, it was difficult to say no. He proved last season that he’s a talented boy and I hope his form continues over to this campaign.”
David questioned me in regards to the £3million future fee, here’s what I had to say:
“To me, £3million is an absolute steal for a player of Fabio’s quality. Come the end of the season, if I feel as if he has earned it and he wants to see his future here at Sunderland, then I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing Fabio here for years to come.”
With the inclusion of Fabio Borini to our attacking options, I needed to balance the books and offload Danny Graham to Championship side, Fulham, on a season long loan. Our opening day opponents for the Premier League Season, West Bromwich Albion, put in a £800k bid for Wes Brown. I accepted the deal as I felt that £800k for a 35 year old is pretty decent business. With the added transfer funds, I decided to use that money to go towards two defensive players, Nathan Ake on loan from Chelsea and young right back, Sam Byram, from Leeds United for £2.5million. So it’s two players out, three players in. Steven Fletcher was high on Stoke City’s shopping list but there was no way I was selling Stevie. I have big plans for the guy and I have high hopes for the Borini/Fletcher partnership.
Saturday 16th August 2014: Barclays Premier League
West Bromwich Albion 1 Sunderland 2
Mannone/Van Aanholt/Coates/O’Shea/Vergini/Wickham/Cattermole/Rodwell (Buckley)/Johnson (Alvarez)/Fletcher/Borini
Goals: Fletcher (24’ 45’) Sessegnon (90’)
Man of the Match: Mannone (Sunderland)
It’s always important to get off to your first win of the season. There’s nothing worse than chasing the first victory of the season but we managed to get that win against a strong West Brom side. It was always written in the script for Sess to score against his former club but all in all, a good showing from the lads.
Sunday 24th August 2014: Barclays Premier League
Sunderland 0 Manchester United 4
Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Coates/O’Shea/ Jones/ Wickham/ Cattermole/ Rodwell/ Johnson/ Borini/ Fletcher
Goals: Van Persie (29’) Fellaini (34’) Rooney (44’ 90’)
Man of the Match: Van Persie (Manchester United)
We came crashing back down to earth with a trashing from the multi time Premier League Champions. We had some good chances early on but were never able to bury them unlike United. We need to be much more tougher than this when playing at home if we are to achieve our objectives this season but its early days. No need to push the panic button just yet.
Saturday 30th August: Barclays Premier League
Queens Park Rangers 1 Sunderland 3
Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Vergini/ O’Shea/ Byram/ Buckley/ Cattermole/ Rodwell/ Johnson/ Fletcher/ Borini
Goals: Borini (8’ 27’) Fletcher (17’) Austin (70’)
Man of the Match: Johnson (Sunderland)
Back to winning ways against Harry Redknapp’s team. QPR made it hard for us after Borini’s first goal but we managed to breakdown their defence after a quality cross into the box from Johnson to give Fletcher his 3rd goal of the season.
Player of the Month: Steven Fletcher.
Good start to the season from the Scottish international, with 3 goals in 3 games, Steven Fletcher is Sunderland’s Player of the month.
10th in the table after 3 games, could of been higher had we grabbed our chances against Manchester United. Let’s hope can continue this positive start as he head into September with games against Tottenham Hotspur, Burnley and our first round match in the Capital One Cup against AFC Bournemouth.