July 20, 2015 11:38:15 UK
Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat has urged Jack Rodwell to continue the form he has shown in pre-season once the Premier League campaign gets underway.
Rodwell has struggled to replicate the form he showed during the early part of his career at Everton in spells with Manchester City and now Sunderland but scored a fine goal in the 3-1 defeat to the Mexican side Club de Futbol Pachuba on Saturday.
The midfielder has struggled with injuries since his £10million transfer to the Stadium of Light and Advocaat hopes Rodwell can finally return to full fitness by having a successful pre-season.
The veteran Dutch manager said: “He could have scored two or three. In the first 15 minutes, it was the way I know Jack from Everton. That has to continue and improve. But I can see the difference in him.”
Meanwhile, Advocaat is continuing to search for a creative midfielder and has been linked with Spurs’ Moussa Dembele, while Emanuele Giaccherini and Jordi Gomez finally appear to have shaken off their injury problems.
“You can see Giaccherini is a little bit out of air because it’s unbelievable how hard he’s training,” added Advocaat. “Jordi is still to come back too. We have some possibilities to do things in the team.”
Sunderland are 21.00 to beat Leicester City 2-0 on the opening weekend of the Premier League season and 7.00 to secure a top-half finish.
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