As he is ready for his first start with Sunderland, Sam Greenwood pledges to Middlesbrough.

As he is ready for his first start with Sunderland, Sam Greenwood pledges to Middlesbrough.

Sam Greenwood has pledged to give his all and fight for Middlesbrough against boyhood club Sunderland on Saturday, if given the nod to start again by Michael Carrick.

The forward made his first start for Boro in Tuesday night’s victory over Cardiff City after joining the club on loan from Leeds United this summer. Showing plenty of promise and positivity, he played his part in a hard-fought 2-0 victory against a side that proved tough to break down.
It was a third consecutive victory for Boro, meaning they head to the Stadium of Light on Saturday for the Wear-Tees derby in high spirits. For boyhood Sunderland fan Greenwood, there could perhaps be no better time to have broken into the Boro line-up, with the forward relishing the prospect of coming up against the side whose academy he was part of until leaving for Arsenal aged 16.
Now ready to reunite with Sunderland for the first time at first-team level, Greenwood is eager to show his quality. And if there were any doubts about where his allegiances will lie, he revealed he’s even put his dad in the Boro away end this weekend, despite him being a Sunderland fan.

Greenwood said: “It’s a big game on Saturday. I’m sure we can get the win and keep pushing as a team. It’s down to the gaffer whether or not I start but hopefully I’ve done enough. I’ve only played them at Under-23s level since I left.
“My family are all Sunderland fans, they’ll be there, but I’ve put my dad in the away end with the Boro fans. He doesn’t mind. He’s just supporting me, I’m sure he’ll want Boro to win, he supports his son all the time.
I went to school in Sunderland as well, so literally all my mates are Sunderland fans. But I just have to be professional about it. I’m a Middlesbrough player now and I’ll fight for Middlesbrough. It’s all about the team I’m at now, so I’m going to go for the win.”

With the 21-year-old cup-tied in the Carabao Cup, he’s had to be patient in waiting for his Boro opportunities. Joining late in the transfer window, he had to play catch up with his new team-mates in terms of match sharpness and making connections with his new team-mates.
Nevertheless, he’s enjoyed his time on Teesside so far, and is confident that, after a poor start that saw Boro remain winless for seven league games at the start of the season, they’ve turned the corner having won their last three in the Championship ahead of Sunderland.
“It’s been brilliant and I already feel at home,” he continued. “I have my family around me, the lads have been brilliant with me, it’s been spot on. The lads have been great. Obviously I’ve been cup-tied which has been a bit frustrating but now I’ve had my first start I just need to kick on now.
“We believe in ourselves that much to out-battle a team and we knew the chances would come once we’ve done that, so it’s just a matter of sticking at it and out-battling teams. I’m sure if we do that we’ll batter teams three and four.

“I wouldn’t say anything has changed [in the past week or so]. We always knew we had the quality, we just couldn’t get the results. I think it was just a matter of keep fighting and now we have the momentum we’ll keep pushing to reach our goals.”

One game at a time is the often-used motto of manager Michael Carrick. That next game just happens to be a huge one for Greenwood personally. He’s desperate to play, and desperate to leave his mark on the game.

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