McCarthy going global in survival bid

Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy is scouring the globe for the players who he hopes can rescue their disastrous season to date.

McCarthy, whose side ended a run of nine successive league defeats with a 0-0 draw against Bolton on Boxing Day, hopes to recruit two key men during the January transfer window to strengthen his squad for a desperate scrap.

He has already been linked with a loan move for Celtic’s former Newcastle and Bolton midfielder Alan Thompson, while Israel goalkeeper Nir Davidovic spent a successful spell on trial with the Black Cats earlier this month.

McCarthy is refusing to identify his targets, but has revealed he is considering a series of options as he prepares for the opening of the window.

“I would like to add to the squad, but I won’t comment on individual players,” he said.

“It’s tantamount to tapping them up. I won’t get involved in that, but yes, I would like to bring a couple of players in.”

Speaking of Davidovic, he said: “He has gone back. We are having a look at a number of players around the place. We bring players in constantly to have a look at.

“He did really well but at the minute he has gone back to play for his club, Maccabi Haifa. He is playing on New Year’s Day – I don’t think we’ll have anybody at that one – and we will just keep monitoring the situation.”

McCarthy’s comments came as he prepared his side for Saturday’s clash with fellow strugglers Everton at the Stadium of Light following the postponement of Wednesday’s game at Blackburn when he, his players and most of the travelling fans had already arrived at Ewood Park.

However, he had few complaints about either the decision or the schedule, which has handed every Premiership team four fixtures in the space of eight days.

“It was the right decision (to postpone the match),” he said.

“It wouldn’t have been safe to play on it and it was only going to get colder. But it was really difficult for the fans. I feel sorry for them.”

On the gruelling programme of games, he added: “There’s been a lot of bleating about it, but I think four games in eight days is excessive.

“All those lads who go to watch horse races or have racehorses, they wouldn’t let them do it four times in eight days, I can tell you. Maybe the powers that be should try it and play four games in eight days at the intensity our lads have to.

“But I didn’t bleat about it beforehand and I’m not going to start now. The holiday fixtures are fine, but four in eight days is excessive, it really is.

“But let’s not look at the football – what about the people paying to watch four games in eight days? I don’t know where they get the dosh from for four games in eight days.”


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