MAX POWER has twin ambitions at Sunderland this season – win promotion from League One and secure a new contract enabling him to extend his stay at the Stadium of Light.

Like the rest of Phil Parkinson’s squad, Power is putting the finishing touches to his pre-season preparations, with Sunderland’s first competitive fixture, a Carabao Cup game against Hull City, now just four days away.

Having joined the Black Cats in January 2019, the midfielder has been a member of the Sunderland side that has missed out on promotion in each of the last two campaigns, and is therefore determined to make it third time lucky this season.

And with his current contract due to expire in nine months’ time, the 27-year-old accepts he also has a personal need to impress.

“You can’t hide away from the fact that promotion has been the aim since I came here, and it’s still the aim,” said Power. “I’m in the final year of my contract, so I want to get promoted and I’d love to be here for many years to come. That’s the aim for me.

“If you ask anyone in the squad, everyone knows what the aim has to be. Hopefully, come May, we can finally have something to celebrate.”

It has been a challenging summer for Sunderland’s players, with the decision to call off last season early because of coronavirus depriving them of the chance of a play-off spot and the constant speculation over the club’s off-field position fuelling inevitable uncertainty.

Power admits it has been impossible to ignore this summer’s takeover talk, but with Stewart Donald adamant he will continue to ensure Sunderland’s financial viability for as long as he remains in charge, the midfielder also insists there are no excuses when it comes to mounting a successful promotion push this term.

“The club has obviously had off-field issues, it’s no secret that at the moment, it seems as if the club is up for sale,” he said, in an interview with the #SAFCUnfiltered podcast. “As players, you don’t tend to get involved in that, but it’s hard to ignore with so much coverage and, nowadays, social media is huge. You’re not oblivious to what’s going on. But we understand the frustration of not getting promoted in recent years, and we’ll give everything we can.”