Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Signings Made Us Stronger - Hysen

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Signings Made Us Stronger - Hysen

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

TOBIAS Hysen believes Sunderland's new-look squad is much better than the one he joined in August.

Since the Swede signed for Black Cats boss Niall Quinn in the early weeks of the season, the alterations have gone far beyond a change of manager.

But the 24-year-old believes the rapid overhaul has left Sunderland a far stronger unit - and Roy Keane's choice of players has minimised any loss of momentum.

"The squad now is a far different proposition to the one I joined in the summer," admitted the former Djurgardens winger.

"I'm not saying when I first came the squad was bad but it's been improved significantly.

"If you look at the players that have come in, most are playing. They wouldn't be if there were others here better than them."

The son of former Liverpool defender Glenn, he believes the comparative quality of those who have left is equally significant.

"It can be a problem if players from the starting line-up are disappearing but we haven't had that," he said.

"Most that have been sold or have left on loan haven't been playing that much.

The players that have come in have improved the ability of the squad and we haven't lost that many from the first team."

With the transfer window now closed, Hysen feels the Black Cats can now concentrate fully on pushing for promotion after a second period of frenzied transfer activity by Keane.

"We can now sit down and say, 'This is what we've got'," said Hysen. "We know how many points we have to catch up, and we can try to do it. That's the way football is nowadays and you have to adjust." So many changes - six new faces arrived in January - could unsettle a squad but Hysen has no such concerns.

"The new lads have taken their place in the group straight away," he said. "It's been easy to deal with all the changes. I think that's been part of the selection criteria - trying to sign players who will fit in quickly. …

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