With Roy Keane stating "enough is enough" in terms of Sunderland players failing to take career opportunities, a potentially busy January began yesterday with the on-loan recruitment of Jonny Evans from Manchester United and the departure, also on loan, of Stan Varga to Burnley.
Evans, who was 20 on Thursday, has a rape allegation against him following United's Christmas party at a Manchester hotel. Keane, though, said he had no qualms over re-signing a player who was outstanding in Sunderland's defence after joining on loan last January.
"You get tested in all walks of life," Keane said of Evans. "I've been down the road myself as a player. I had two court cases, one in Ireland when I was 19 and one in Manchester a few years ago. It's not nice but you do it. You put up with a lot of nonsense as a footballer. People want to throw allegations at you, but you're innocent until proven guilty."
There is no provision in the deal for Evans to return to Old Trafford this season, Keane said, and Evans is likely to start today against Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup at the Stadium of Light.
Keane said that Sunderland have made progress on two other signings, thought to be Phil Bardsley, also of United but on loan at Sheffield United, and Blackburn's Robbie Savage. Keane said he hoped to complete the deals on Monday or Tuesday.
Sunderland are also in for another two players, one a midfielder and one a striker as Keane churns the squad on Wearside. His frustration with existing personnel was plain yesterday after Wednesday's loss at Blackburn, where Sunderland missed a penalty at 0-0. "There will be a time, and it might happen over the next few days, when I spell things out to the players," Keane said. "I said enough's enough of all these ifs, buts and ands. We've no one to blame but ourselves. Blackburn was "typical Sunderland," a chance to take something "What if, what if?" There comes a time when you have to take the players out who aren't producing."Reuse content