A poor last season shouldn’t affect Sunderland’s transfer business

Costel Pantilimon
Costel Pantilimon

COSTEL PANTILIMON insists Sunderland’s narrow escape from the drop last season should not influence the thinking of any transfer targets.

Sunderland have added a modest four fresh faces to the squad this summer, yet boss Gus Poyet has been left frustrated that there haven’t been more additions after losing the services of 12 players at the end of last season.

Sporting director Lee Congerton and his recruitment team are working hard to make further inroads, with Atletico Madrid’s Cristian Rodriguez, Manchester City’s Jack Rodwell and former loanees Fabio Borini and Marcos Alonso at the top of Sunderland’s wish-list.

But it is thought that Sunderland’s recruitment efforts have not been helped by question marks over what lies in store for the Black Cats this season after it took a remarkable reversal of fortunes over the final seven games for Poyet’s men to remain in the Premier League last time around.

However, one of the new arrivals, ex-Man City goalkeeper Pantilimon, says he was so convinced by Poyet’s plans for Sunderland that last season’s troubles never came into his thinking when he was weighing up whether to move to the Stadium of Light.

“No, the results from last year didn’t worry me,” Pantilimon told SportMail.

“I know that at this moment we have a good manager and good players.

“It didn’t scare me or anything like that.

“I remember the games against Sunderland with Man City last season. We lost the game here, drew at home and we had a difficult game in the (Capital One Cup) final after they scored the first goal.

“I came here to help this team.

“I know about this project and the ideas of the manager. I’m sure we’re going to do good things.

“I trust what has happened here. We can do more than what happened last year.”

Pantilimon, who faces a fierce fight with last year’s Player of the Season Vito Mannone for the number one spot, insists he has had no troubles settling into his new surroundings either.

The Romanian international already knew Sunderland winger Adam Johnson from their time together at Man City, but says he has encountered a positive spirit in the Black Cats dressing room.

The 27-year-old added: “I’ve found great people here. Since the moment I came here, it was easy to adapt.

“I think it will be the same for the other new players.

“When you have a good team and good staff, it’s easy to settle.

“I know Adam from City. I talked with him.

“He’s a good guy and also a good player.”

– CHRIS YOUNG