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Grant Leadbitter makes bold claim about Sunderland’s chances of achieving promotion



Former Sunderland captain Grant Leadbitter has admitted that he believes that the club will be able to secure promotion to the Championship this season.

Leadbitter opted to call time on his playing career earlier this year after leaving the Black Cats following the culmination of the 2020/21 campaign.

The midfielder helped Sunderland reach the play-offs by making 40 appearances for the club in the regular season.

However, despite featuring in the second-leg of their semi-final clash with Lincoln City, Leadbitter was unable to prevent the club from suffering a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Michael Appleton’s side.

In Leadbitter’s absence, Sunderland have made a relatively encouraging start to the current term under the guidance of manager Lee Johnson.

Currently fifth in the League One standings, the Black Cats will need to pick up victories on a regular basis in this division over the Christmas period if they are to move into the automatic promotion places.

Set to face Oxford United at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, Sunderland will be determined to seal all three points in-front of their supporters.

Making reference to his former side, Leadbitter has revealed that he believes that the club will be able to secure a return to the Championship in 2022.

Speaking to Chronicle Live, Leadbitter said: “I think they can get up, they have a good enough squad.

“The infrastructure of the football club is getting better, I hope.

“I know how tough that league is and everyone wants to beat Sunderland so Sunderland have to be prepared for that.

“We have to be better and the players will want to get to grips with that.”

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Leadbitter later added: “Towards the end of the season you can also end up with lots of games in hand, although I do understand you want your best players on the pitch.

“They need to look at that and look at how they can keep that rhythm going.

“But they can get up this season.”

The Verdict

It is hard to disagree with Leadbitter’s comments as Sunderland do possess a squad which is capable of setting the third-tier alight.

However, Johnson may need to draft in some fresh faces in January due to the fact that Luke O’Nien and Aiden McGeady are both set to be sidelined for the foreseeable future as a result of their respective injuries.

When you consider that Sunderland are set to play six league games this month, Johnson will be hoping that his side are able to maintain their consistency during this hectic period.

By picking up a victory in their showdown with Oxford this weekend, the Black Cats may be able to use the confidence gained from this result to push on in the third-tier in the coming weeks.

Freelance writer for Football League World. Previously worked for 90min & GiveMeSport.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Grant Leadbitter makes bold claim about Sunderland’s chances of achieving promotion

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