CHARIS MAVRIAS has told Gustavo Poyet that he wants to stay at Sunderland next season after reminding the manager of his potential during pre-season.
Mavrias’ future remains uncertain after failing to force his way in to the first team picture during his first year at the Stadium of Light but he has no desire to leave.
There have been suggestions of possible loan moves, with a temporary switch back to his former club Panathinaikos mooted in Athens a couple of times over the summer.
But Mavrias, who has been told he will play a significant chunk of tonight’s friendly with Real Betis at Bishop Auckland, has no intention to leave and wants to make the most of his Premier League opportunity.
“When I first came I knew what football is like and that I might have to be patient, this is football,” said Mavrias. “Managers have different ideas and we had a change of manager last season to deal with.
“I have to keep working hard. I want to be a success in the Premier League. I came here because I want to play Premier League football and be a Premier League player. That’s what I am determined to do.”
Mavrias’ determination has been there for all to see during pre-season after turning in fully-committed displays in the hope of proving to Poyet he does not deserve to be forgotten about.
The Sunderland manager is still working on new signings and only paperwork has prevented confirmation of a deal for Argentine defender Santiago Vergini. Discussions in other areas are ongoing, with Liverpool’s Fabio Borini still an option despite Sunderland’s decision to consider alternatives.
Mavrias does not want to think too much about what could happen on the transfer front. He is keen to focus on his own performances and that has not gone unnoticed by Poyet.
“I have to say a massive thanks to Harry (Charis) for what he did for me in Portugal,” said Poyet. “It’s not easy for a player to be asked to play full-back when they are a winger and he did that because of an injury to Billy Jones.
“If everything goes alright, and we can play some defenders on Thursday, I would like to see Harry play his position. He deserves that. I am really excited to see the final touches, to make the squad a competitive squad.”
Mavrias is satisfied with the comments from Poyet but he will not be taking anything for granted. The 20-year-old, who only played four times in the Premier League after his £2m switch from Greece, is focused on maintaining improved performance levels.
“It was nice to be with the first team out in Portugal for the whole time because I felt part of the group,” he said. “I just have to try my best every time. The first year is hard for anyone at a new club. I think I will do better this time because I have settled. I just need a chance. I will try to do it in the pitch now.
“I will only get in the team through hard work and by proving to the manager. The focus has been trying to do what the manager wants. I don’t know what the manager thinks, I want to play and I want to take chance under him.”
* Sunderland fans are advised that there will be no cash sales from Heritage Park tonight. The Black Cats take on Betis at 7.30pm on and supporters have until 5pm to purchase tickets in person from the Stadium of Light ticket office or by calling the credit card hotline on 0871 911 1973.