Sunderland midfielder Josh Scowen admits that he has been frustrated by his lack of game time in recent weeks, but says the performances of those he is competing with for a place in the side means he can understand his absence to some extent.
Scowen, who joined the Black Cats on a short-term deal from Championship side QPR back in the January transfer window, has so far made just four appearances for Phil Parkinson’s side, with his only start for the club coming in their 2-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers last time out.
While the midfielder says that he would like to have played more since his move to the Stadium of Light at the start of the year, Scowen is also full of praise for the performances of new teammates George Dobson and Max Power in his position in the centre of the park.
Speaking to The Chronicle about his time at the club so far, Scowen said: “I look at our midfield two over the last few weeks and I have been really impressed.
“George and Max have both been superb since I came to the club and if they keep playing at that level, it will be really hard for me to break into the team.
“While it is frustrating sometimes to be on the outside looking in, I am hoping that it will spur me on to train harder and force myself into the starting XI. When the time comes, I need to be ready to go again.”
As things stand, Sunderland are currently seventh in the League One table, only outside the play-off places on goal difference, and just three points adrift of Coventry in the second automatic promotion spot.
Assessing the state of play in that battle for promotion to the Championship, Scowen added: “I have never seen the league look this tight and you find yourself checking results after we have played to see what has happened. In that sense, we are like fans.”
This does seem an understandable response from Scowen.
Both Dobson and Power look to have been impressive for Sunderland in recent weeks, so it was always going to be hard for Scowen to force his way straight into the side upon his arrival.
Despite that, it does seem as though the opportunities are starting to come for him, and it is encouraging to see that he is willing and confident about biding his time when it comes to staking a claim for a run in the side.
Indeed, when you look at the experience he has had in the Championship with QPR and Barnsley in recent years, it does look as though he has the potential to make an impact for Sunderland at League One level this season.