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Alex Neil issues Sunderland warning and offers transfer prediction

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Sunderland boss Alex Neil has warned that August could be the toughest month of the season for the Black Cats but has predicted that his squad will look different by the end of the transfer window. 

The North East club drew 1-1 with Coventry City on Sunday in what was the first Championship game played at the Stadium of Light in four years.

Sunderland won promotion back to the second tier via the play-offs in 2021/22 and their main target this term will be avoiding relegation.

Neil has signed six players so far this summer but still feels his squad is understrength and believes the next month could be the toughest period of the season for them.

Speaking to Chronicle Live, he explained: “Potentially, this will be the toughest period.

“It’s hard to say for sure because I don’t know what the season is going to look like, but this is the period where we’re not at full strength at the moment.

“We’re going to go into these first few games quite light in some areas. It’s not through a lack of effort behind the scenes, it’s because the teams we are dealing with are reluctant to let their players out at the moment and we have to bide our time.

“But we’re still players light, so the likelihood is that by the end of the window the squad will look different to how it looks at the moment. You don’t get handed your squad and told that that’s your squad for the remainder of the season, because if that was the case you could get a lot of work in early doors.”

The transfer window ends on the 1st of September, which means the Black Cats will play six more Championship games before the market closes.

They travel to Bristol City on Saturday before facing QPR (H), Sheffield United (A), Stoke City (A), Norwich City (H), and Rotherham United (H).

The Verdict

It’s hard to disagree with Neil on this one. While the Black Cats have made some impressive moves in the transfer window, you do feel they still have work to do to ensure their squad is strong enough for the Championship.

Two of their summer transfers have been permanent moves for players that were on loan last season while Alex Bass has only arrived as a backup goalkeeper and Everton loanee Ellis Simms has come in as a replacement for Nathan Broadhead.

That means that Neil’s squad is not hugely improved on the one that secured promotion from League One last season.

Sunderland waited a fair while for their return to the Championship and it would be foolish not to ensure the manager has the right tools in place to keep them up.

You’d imagine the last month of the window could be a busy one for the North East club.

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London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Alex Neil issues Sunderland warning and offers transfer prediction

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