Former Manager Aims Subtle Dig At Sunderland Board

On transfer deadline day, Sunderland announced the sale of Alex Pritchard to Birmingham City, with the playmaker joining up with his former boss Tony Mowbray at St. Andrew’s.

The 30-year-old spent two and a half seasons with the Black Cats in what was a very successful period for the club, first earning promotion back to the Championship after years of languishing in League One while also reaching the playoff semi-finals last term.

Pritchard made 115 appearances for the Wearside club, scoring nine goals and recording 25 assists. Six of these goal contributions came in the current campaign. However, the midfielder’s time at the club came to an end on Thursday when he signed for Birmingham City for an undisclosed fee, although some reports have listed the transfer value at £100,000.

The build-up to his departure became hostile as Pritchard refused to play for Sunderland ahead of the side’s home victory over Stoke City last weekend in order to force a move, which may have left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans.

Nevertheless, speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Birmingham’s derby clash with West Bromwich Albion, head coach Mowbray revealed that he wasn’t surprised that Sunderland let Pritchard leave following his experience in charge at the Stadium of Light [quotes via the Sunderland Echo]:

“I’m not surprised. I was the head coach there for 15 months so I’m not surprised that he was allowed to leave.

“I’m happy to bring him on board having worked closely with him. I know he can bring an X-Factor in certain games that can win a football match.”

Writer’s View

Sunderland face off against Birmingham City at St. Andrew’s in two weeks so it will be interesting to see the reception the away fans give Pritchard during the game given that many supporters may struggle to forgive the attacking midfielder for refusing to play last week.

It’s difficult to tell exactly what Mowbray meant by his comments regarding not being surprised Pritchard was allowed to leave the club. Perhaps the experienced manager still feels aggrieved about the manner of his dismissal.

About Adam Scully 1065 Articles
Deputy Head of Writing

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