Sunderland midfielder on contract situation and why winless run at home has ‘hurt pride’

Aston Villa FC 2-1 Sunderland AFC, 21-11-2017, Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture by FRANK REID
Aston Villa FC 2-1 Sunderland AFC, 21-11-2017, Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture by FRANK REID

Darron Gibson says he has given little thought to his long-term future at the club and is focusing on cementing his place in the starting XI under Chris Coleman.

Gibson is one of a number of senior players whose current deals expire in the summer, with the club likely to embark on a rebuilding process under the new manager.

The Irish midfielder has featured regularly under Coleman, however, and was singled out for praise after the 0-0 draw with Wolves. He says continuing to impress is his main focus.

He said: “In a way it is in the back of your mind that in the summer you could not have a club, but you just have to get on with it. I cant go to the manager and say ‘look I have six months left and I need to play’. You have to show in training you are ready to play and that’s what I have been doing.”

With Coleman’s midfield options still limited due to injuries and suspension, Gibson is likely to retain his place in the side as Sunderland look to avoid going a full calendar year without a home win.

He admits ‘pride has been hurt’ by the run, now a league record, and says while difficult to fathom, the key to ending it will be following the manager’s gameplan.

He said: “It’s a tough question to answer [what needs to change]. If I knew the answer I’d be the manager.

“We have to go in and do what the manager wants us to do, do what we have been doing over the last four games. Hopefully if we can get the tactics right and defend properly, and show more than them, we will get the result. We are not going into the game and thinking of the record and not winning. We will be going in and trying to build on the last performance.

“I know the fans are frustrated. They are going to be frustrated when you have not won at home for so long. We are not going into the games to lose. As a group of players we are not going in to a game to lose. Our pride is taking a hit as well, and we are under pressure,” he added.

“I understand that sometimes as a fan it doesn’t feel that way. It’s not nice in the dressing room, especially the way it has gone up to now. There have been low points, very low points this season. We have to go into the game and be positive. We have to try to build on the last few performances.”