Louis Laing

Laing glad to be back

by Ashley Houghton

Youngster eyeing strong pre-season.

Sunderland defender Louis Laing told safc.com he was delighted to get through his first 90 minutes in eight months in a 4-1 friendly win at Consett on Wednesday evening.

Tom Robson scored a hat-trick for the Black Cats in a game to mark the closing of the Steelmen’s Belle Vue Park, 63 years since a Sunderland side played the first game at the ground in August 1950.

And Laing was a shining light for Kevin Ball’s side; showing both composure and class in a midfield role – he also provided the assist for Ryan Noble to grab Sunderland’s second.

Naturally, he was pleased to continue his progress after a foot injury has ruled him out since October 2012.

“I was delighted to get 90 minutes under my belt,” said Laing, who spent time on loan at Wycombe last season.

“It’s been really frustrating [missing the majority of this season] as I felt I was progressing well before that.

“I’d started playing in midfield and I was passing the ball well and picking up the position more.”

Laing added that the complications of his injuries made his recovery progress longer than he would have liked.

“I’d picked up a knee injury, then I got a knock on my foot and it knocked me back,” he explained.

“I just had to rest it for three weeks and then it was all about building up the strength again in my leg.

“It was quite a while before I could start running and turning – I’ve only been doing ball work more recently.”

And the 20-year-old is hoping for an injury-free summer so he can head into pre-season and put the injuries that have restricted him to just five U21 league games in 2012-13 behind him.

“Hopefully now I’ll go into pre-season and get myself fit enough to play a part next season.

“I enjoyed playing last night but I’m not at my fittest so I need to work on that ahead of the new season.”