Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scottish Trio in Sights of McCarthy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scottish Trio in Sights of McCarthy

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Mick McCarthy is keeping tabs on three of Motherwell's brightest young talents as he bids to strengthen his threadbare Sunderland squad in readiness for a renewed challenge for promotion in the New Year.

But the Black Cats boss, whose inconsistent side take on Burnley at the Stadium of Light this afternoon, admits that he is ready to shelve his interest in Jonathan Stead, having failed to persuade Huddersfield to part with their highly-rated striker.

McCarthy is determined to add to his ranks and travelled to Fir Park on Tuesday night to watch Stephen Pearson, Steven Hammell and David Clarkson in action against Dunfermline.

The Journal understands Pearson, a central midfielder who made his international debut for Scotland against Holland two weeks ago, is the player who is interesting the Wearsiders the most.

But McCarthy is also keen on Hammell, a 21-year-old defender, and Clarkson, an 18-year-old striker, having seen the pair playing for Terry Butcher's side during one of his many recent scouting missions.

Although he has kept the Black Cats in the promotion hunt during the opening stages of the Nationwide League campaign, the Sunderland manager has told chairman Bob Murray that his squad is short of numbers following the club's summer cull.

McCarthy had hoped a deal could be struck to bring Stead to the Stadium of Light but, with Huddersfield believed to be seeking around pounds 1.5m for their inexperienced striker, the Wearsiders have begun to look elsewhere.

"There's no latest news on the Jonathan Stead situation," said McCarthy, who last night revealed that his scouting work took him to St James's Park on Thursday evening for Newcastle's Uefa Cup clash with FC Basel. "We had an interest in him and we enquired about him but that's dead now as far as I'm concerned. …

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