Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mignolet Happy to Stay on Bench; Mignolet Happy to Stay on the Bench

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mignolet Happy to Stay on Bench; Mignolet Happy to Stay on the Bench

Article excerpt

SIMON Mignolet "understands" why Sunderland are reluctant to hand him his Premier League debut, writes STUART RAYNER.

The Belgian Under-21 international (left) joined from Sint-Truidense this summer to provide back-up to first-choice goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

But with the Scot breaking his arm in pre-season, M[sz]rton Fl|p close to joining Ipswich and third choice Trevor Carson also injured, he is line to start against Birmingham next week in the Premier League.

Black Cats boss Steve Bruce, though, is searching for an alternative. He failed to sign David James and has enquired about a loan for the man expected to replace him as England's first-choice goalkeeper, Joe Hart.

"You need to understand the situation," insisted Mignolet. "I am only 22 and never played a game in the Premier League.

"I've come from Belgium and no one really knows who I am, so it was always going to be difficult for the club when Craig got injured. I understand why the club are looking for another goalkeeper. They are trying to protect me as well. The only thing I can do is work hard and try to prove I am ready for the Premier League."

Bruce faces a difficult job landing Hart. Having paid around pounds 1.5m for Mignolet, the club are reluctant to spend money on another goalkeeper, even if it is only a loan fee and wages. Hart's prospects of the first-team football he craves may be better at Arsenal, who are thought to be interested. With the transfer deadline not until August 31, City have no reason to rush the departure of a player they would rather keep. Other new signings might be upset to see their clubs so openly looking to bring in a player above them already, but not Mignolet.

"Nobody knows if I am ready - it will only show when I play games," he admitted. "There is no way you can know until you have tried it, and I have not played a single game in England yet. "We will only know if the chance comes along, but I am confident in my ability and looking forward to the challenge. …

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