April 18, 2024

Michael Beale is happy. Jobe Bellingham has been able to go through a “crazy” period of football, and once the schedule settles in the second half of the Championship season, Sunderland will change the youngster’s training programme.

Following Beale’s appointment, Bellingham played all but five minutes of four games in ten days during Christmas and New Year’s.

The scheduling took its toll, with Sunderland suffering some injury setbacks during that period, and Beale acknowledges it was a worrying moment for the coaching and medical staff.

Bellingham was 18 in September, yet has started 25 of Sunderland’s 27 Championship games thus far. The club will continue to closely monitor the adolescent to ensure they are not asking too much of him, and Beale believes the fixture plan in the coming months will allow the Black Cats to ensure Bellingham gets enough rest.

“We had a huge issue in terms of having those four games in ten days when I first came in, because we picked up injuries in that period,” Beale remarked.


Former Liverpool star urges Jobe Bellingham to stay at Sunderland - Sports  Illustrated Sunderland Nation


“But we wanted to finish that period in the top six, which we did, which was satisfying.

“We were concerned about more than just Jobe. The scheduling; we’re currently playing one game a week for a month, and it seems unbelievable that we had that fixture list at the time. We lost three players to injury during that time period, which hurts the product on the field as well.

“It wasn’t just Jobe. He’s a football player who wants to play every minute of the day; he’s the first one in and the last to leave, infatuated with the game.

“You’re correct, sometimes we need to give someone a break. It was a concern throughout that run of games, but now that I have a timetable, I believe it is less so since we can change his training program.



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