Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

New Boy Wants First Team Place

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

New Boy Wants First Team Place

Article excerpt

Byline: By James Hunter

Sunderland's new signing Dean Whitehead is confident he will cope with stepping up two divisions and has vowed to scrap for a first team place this season.

The 22-year-old joined the Black Cats from League Two side Oxford United last month, becoming Mick McCarthy's first summer signing.

The midfielder was voted Oxford's player of the season last year but competition for places in the centre of the park is fierce and he knows he will have to produce his best form to force his way into the side.

Whitehead said: "I'm under no illusions about the job ahead and I'm not expecting to go straight into the first team.

"There's a lot of competition and a lot of established players here.

"But I wanted this chance to show I could step up a few levels and still do a job and I'm confident I will adjust to the different demands.

"It's taken me a couple of days to find my feet at Sunderland but I'm feeling more settled in every day and I'm expecting the same to apply on the footballing side of things too. …

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