Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I've Got Nothing to Prove, Says Cats Star

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I've Got Nothing to Prove, Says Cats Star

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

Jonathan Stead says he will have nothing to prove when he comes face to face with the man who made his dream move to the Premiership turn sour this evening.

Stead is set to play at Ewood Park for the first time since leaving Blackburn Rovers for Sunderland in a pounds 1.8m transfer this summer. The striker was an instant hit in Lancashire, and instrumental in saving Rovers from relegation in his first six months at the club.

But the 22-year-old endured a miserable second season, thanks largely to his difficult relationship with new manager Mark Hughes.

Stead says he is looking forward to returning to the club which gave him his chance in the Premiership, but insists he is not concerned about what the home fans think of him.

"This was the game that I circled straight away," he admitted. "It will be good to go back there and I'm really looking forward to it."

Stead was brought to Lancashire from Huddersfield Town by Graeme Souness. But when the Scot moved to Newcastle United in October 2004, Stead found his face no longer fitted with Souness' successor, Hughes.

"It was difficult for me at Blackburn," conceded the England Under-21 international. "The change of manager threw me completely. When the new people came into the club, I didn't feel anything like as comfortable as I had before.

"It didn't feel like the place I had moved to. I didn't feel welcome and it wasn't a nice place to be."

The former Huddersfield Town player contrasted the attitude of Hughes and his backroom staff with that of his current manager, Mick McCarthy. That, he says, is the reason he is so determined to do well for the Black Cats. "It makes a massive difference to know that you've got the confidence of the manager behind you," he explained.

"I knew the gaffer (McCarthy) was tracking me for a long time."

The Sunderland boss tried unsuccessfully to buy Stead when he joined Blackburn in the January 2004 transfer window. "That's always great to know," he added. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.