Duncan Watmore has spoken of a focus and determined edge in Sunderland’s camp as week one of pre-season comes to a close.

The 25-year-old has been taking part in his first pre-season for three years following a torrid spate of injuries.

Despite that, Watmore’s character and attitude remains as upbeat as ever as he looks to make an impact on the main stage once again – something he’s been unable to do due to his lengthy spells on the sidelines.

Speaking to safc.com following the lads' first week of pre-season, the forward was honest about how the tough the last few seasons have been but shared his excitement over what he hopes the future holds.

“It was nice to get away and have a break but it would’ve been good to have gone away having won at Wembley,” he said.

“It wasn’t to be but everyone has been very focused in the first couple of days of pre-season to make sure we don’t slip up this season.

“It’s been three years since I’ve had a full pre-season so I’m sure that will make a huge difference.

“It makes a big difference to fitness levels and my body is definitely feeling it after the first couple of days.

“I’m really enjoying it, though, we’ve done some football stuff as well as some hard graft, so it’s been a good combination. 

“It’s been very frustrating for me over the last few years,” he continued. 

“My body hasn’t held up and I’m really just trying to keep doing my gym work and everything I can because I want to play minutes. 

“I want to play football games and the only way to do that is by working hard on and off the pitch and hopefully, with a bit of luck, I will stay away from the injuries and string a few games together.”

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