Sunderland manager Lee Johnson is worried about losing key players and his side’s promotion push being derailed in the January transfer window.
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He said: “I get scared on this one because it’s happened to me before where we’ve been a victim of our own success,” said Johnson, talking about the potential of his current crop of players.
“At Bristol City, we sold nearly £100m-worth of players. I can smell assets. If you sign people with a good attitude, and you have a good set of staff like we have, then you can really improve players pretty quickly.
“I’d almost rather they had a couple of bad games and send everybody off the radar!” he added.
You would hope that if the Black Cats can sustain their league position and are well in the hunt for automatic promotion by the turn of the year, then their saleable assets will be invested enough in their push to stay at the Stadium of Light.
It feels like the club are in the best position since dropping into the third tier and that is testament to Johnson and his staff’s recruitment, it would be a crushing blow to lose a couple of key players in January.
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The problems Johnson is wary of would be more likely to arise if they suffered a drop off and were in and around the top six rather than top two around January.
If they can continue their upward trajectory, emerging from a fierce race as one of the best two teams in League One then a mass exodus in January seems far less probable.
The Black Cats welcome Ian Evatt’s impressive Bolton Wanderers to Wearside on Saturday hoping to regain top spot after Wigan Athletic crashed the party last weekend. The fresh look to the squad with the exuberance of youth blended with the quality and knowhow of the likes of Aiden McGeady and Corry Evans could be the perfect balance to finally get them over the line this season.