Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let's End in Style, Urges Caldwell

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let's End in Style, Urges Caldwell

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

Steve Caldwell is confident that buoyant Sunderland can keep the club's promotion party rolling against Stoke City tomorrow and remain focused on delivering a fitting finale to this season's title winning campaign.

The Black Cats' Scotland international says Mick McCarthy's Premiership-bound players cannot wait to tackle top-flight opposition after two years outside English football's elite.

But Caldwell recognises the need to bow out of the Championship in style with a first capacity crowd of the season guaranteed at the Stadium of Light.

"It's been a great week and certainly more relaxed than the few weeks before," conceded the former Newcastle United centre-half. "It's been enjoyable and what we've achieved is still sinking in.

"But we've got one more game and we want to put on a show at the Stadium of Light in front of all of those fans.

"Of course, we've started to think about the Premiership already and we'd be lying if we said we hadn't.

"I'm sure every one of the players here has thought about next season's games.

"But this weekend is about enjoying the Championship and what we can look back on.

"In a few weeks, the euphoria will probably die down and then we can start to think seriously about next season."

Caldwell must feel intense personal pride when reflecting upon the part he has played in a fabulous season for Sunderland.

The former Magpies' trainee was deemed surplus to requirements by the St James's Park coaching staff this time last year and yet many still questioned his decision to move south of the Tyne, rather than accept the option of a 12-month contract extension on Tyneside.

Caldwell has proved those doubters wrong in swapping the comfort zone for competitive football and it is his wholehearted endeavour which has endeared the Scot to team-mates and supporters alike.

"It's a little bit presumptuous to come to a Championship side believing you're a Premiership player who's simply dropping down a division as a temporary measure," he added. …

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