TONY MOWBRAY admits that Sunderland still need further strengthening in their attacking positions ahead of the start of the new Championship season.

The Black Cats have already made four signings this summer, one of which, the purchase of Luis Semedo from Benfica, has seen a new forward arrive at the Stadium of Light.

However, with Joe Gelhardt having returned to Leeds United following the end of his loan spell and Ross Stewart set to miss the start of the season because of a long-standing Achilles injury, a lack of attacking options remains a major issue.

Semedo, who does not turn 20 until next month and who spent last season playing with Benfica’s second-string side, is currently the only senior striker on Sunderland’s books, a situation Mowbray is hoping will be rectified before the opening weekend of the new campaign at the start of next month.

“I’m hoping there’s still a few more new faces to come into the building,” said the Sunderland head coach. “We could probably do with some help up the top end of the pitch.

“If you think that Ross isn’t quite ready yet, then we’ve only really got young Hemir Luis Semedo, but he is still a boy, and it’s a lot of burden for him to be the only senior striker that we’ve got.

“We could probably do with some help at the top end of the pitch over the next few weeks, and I’m sure we’re working very hard behind the scenes on that.”


As well as signing Semedo, Sunderland have also brought in Nectarios Triantis, Jenson Seelt and Jobe Bellingham, with Mowbray delighted the club have been so proactive at the start of the transfer window.

“I think it’s amazing that we’ve been able to get four new faces in just as we’re arriving back,” he said, in an interview broadcast on Sunderland’s official media channels. “It’s really good to have them with us through the pre-season to integrate into the team, rather than them being thrown into the group on the last day of the window and expected to be brilliant from day one.

“Sometimes, you have to get used to the lads you can connect with and get your home life sorted out. That’s why it’s good they come in early if they can to integrate into the group and integrate into the city and their surroundings as well.”