Jason Steele admits ‘horrible’ Sunderland made him hate football

Jason Steele has openly expressed his dissatisfaction with his time at Sunderland, describing it as a dreadful experience. In an interview with BBC Sport’s Football Focus, the goalkeeper revealed that he eagerly seized the opportunity to leave the club five years ago.

Steele had initially joined Sunderland from Blackburn Rovers following their relegation to the Championship, initially being the first-choice goalkeeper. However, his time on Wearside was marred by a series of errors and constant criticism from fans. During his tenure, he managed to keep just one clean sheet in all competitions. His spell with the club was further marred by a humiliating red card against QPR, leading to only three more appearances before Sunderland’s relegation.

Subsequently, Steele made a surprising move to Brighton in the Premier League, where he gradually climbed the ranks. He has started nine games in all competitions this season.

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Reflecting on his move to Brighton during an interview with Glenn Murray on Football Focus, Steele explained, “I think it was more about where I had come from, having spent a year at Sunderland. I’ve never watched the [Sunderland Til I Die] documentary, and I doubt I ever will, because it represents a chapter of my life I’ve moved on from. Towards the end, I started to doubt if it was the right place for me.”

He went on to describe the difficulties he faced during his time at Sunderland, saying, “I had three young kids, was married, and lived in the area. There were times when I didn’t even want to take my kids to school. It was that bad up there. Losing every week, not wanting to check my phone, not wanting to leave the house.”

Steele emphasized that the opportunity to move to Brighton was a breath of fresh air for him, and he was so eager to leave Sunderland that he didn’t even inquire about his new salary. The move allowed him to rekindle his passion for football and fall in love with the game again.

In hindsight, Jason Steele’s journey to becoming a Premier League goalkeeper was marked by a difficult period during his one-year stay at Sunderland. He, along with fellow goalkeepers Lee Camp and Robbin Ruiter, struggled, and his time with the club was marred by their collective poor performances. Despite his struggles at Sunderland, he managed to move on to better opportunities, leaving behind a period that he and the fans all wish to forget.

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