Joe Gelhardt: Joe Gelhardt talks debut, fans and Reading tie

Having stepped out in Sunderland colours for the first time over the weekend, Joe Gelhardt revelled in the away fans support and is looking forward to his next appearance.

Around 2,800 supporters were in attendance for the Lads 1-1 draw with Millwall on Saturday making a long journey from the north-east to East London to back them.

Gelhardt was named in the starting eleven by Tony Mowbray and played his part in a hard-fought draw at the Den.

“It’s a tough place to come, I think everyone knows that” Gelhardt told “We came here knowing what to expect, long balls, second balls it would be a scrappy game, but I thought we fought well.

“In the end, we were unlucky not to get three points, especially in the second half as I thought we were on the front foot. On another day, I think we could have another go late on and get the three points.

“Other than that, I think we played quite well, and we’ll take the point.”

The support given by the Sunderland fans is not lost on the 20-year-old who admitted in the weeks since his move to Wearside that their backing played a role in his decision to join the club on loan from Leeds United.

Once again, that was on display for all on Saturday to see as Gelhardt continued: “From Sunderland down to London it is incredible how many people come, me and the team can’t thank them enough for coming and showing their support.

“On another day we get the three points, and they go away happy. I’m sure they won’t be complaining as we give it our all, so thanks to the fans.”

The former Wigan Athletic frontman is ineligible to feature for Sunderland in their Emirates FA Cup replay against Fulham on Wednesday having already featured in the competition.

Whilst he will be willing his teammates onto victory against the Cottagers, he has his sights set on the following league game when Sunderland host Reading at the weekend getting a feel for what it’s like to play in this current team.

Gelhardt added: “I was impressed. I’ve seen them all week in training, so I know how good they are and to play with them especially, Amad, Jack (Clarke) and Pat (Roberts) all linking up together is a joy to be a part of.

“I’m looking forward to the next game, hopefully, we get the three points next game.”

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