Sunderland owner wants value for money signings

Sunderland owner Ellis Short has told manager Martin O’Neill he will have to astute when it comes to strengthening his squad this summer.

Short has ploughed millions into the Black Cats since buying a stake in the club in September 2008 before taking full control five months later.

Having seen former managers Roy Keane and Steve Bruce spend lavishly during their time at the Stadium of Light the Texas tycoon is keen for O’Neill to identify players that will improve the team.

Short told BBC Radio Newcastle: “He [O’Neill] and I have been talking all summer long about what we are going to do.

“The fans have a pretty good idea of what we need to do and everybody has a pretty good idea of what we need to do, so now Martin is looking at specific players that we might want, and then there will be a lot of work and then trying to get those players here.

“But we don’t want to sign players just for the sake of signing them, or because it feels like they are inexpensive for some reason.

“We want to identify players who are good and who will definitely improve us, and try to bring them in.”

O’Neill led Sunderland from the foot of the Premier League table to 13th last season after taking over from Bruce in December and Short is hoping their change in recruitment strategy will see the an improvement in the upcoming campaign.

“There is a lot of pressure, not just to stay in the Premier League, but to improve.

“We are not happy with finishing 13th, we are not happy at all, but we realise that you need steady progress, you need continual progress.

“You don’t want to finish seventh twice in a row and get relegated the next season, which has happened in the past.¬†We do feel like now with Martin and with the progress we have made, we are well-positioned.

“We want to be well within the top 10 – we certainly can’t promise that, but we are not happy with where we are and we do want to continue to improve, and yes, there is huge pressure to do so, both from the fans and their expectations and also just from the sheer size of the economics that are involved in the Premier League.”