Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray recalls meeting with 'great lad' Trai Hume ahead of crucial Championship play-off against Luton Town

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray has heaped praise on former Irish League defender Trai Hume for showing patience before getting the chance to shine at the Stadium of Light.
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The ex-Linfield full-back, who also enjoyed a loan spell with Ballymena United, scored for the Black Cats as they defeated Luton Town 2-1 in the first-leg of their Championship play-off semi-final on Saturday and the two teams will meet again on Tuesday evening for a spot in the Wembley decider against either Middlesbrough or Coventry.

Hume has played 28 times in the second-tier this season and Mowbray, who was appointed in August, says the Northern Ireland international is a ‘great lad’.

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“I remember Trai coming to see me the first month or so I was here and asking if he’d get a chance,” he said.

Trai Hume celebrates scoring against Luton TownTrai Hume celebrates scoring against Luton Town
Trai Hume celebrates scoring against Luton Town

“The team were functioning alright and I said he had to be patient and wait for his opportunity. I could see he was a good player in training, he has lots of good attributes.

“Once he got his opportunity he’s never looked back. He’s been an ever-present in the team

“Another great lad really. There are lots of these characters you can depend on. Whatever you ask of them they embrace it and give it their very best.”

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Hume could have a crucial role to play at Kenilworth Road this evening due to Sunderland’s defensive injury woes, with the likes of international teammate Daniel Ballard set to be sidelined.

“I think adversity is a strong bonder of players,” added Mowbray. “A lot of these players have got strong mindsets, want to improve, want to get better.

“There is always a positive to come out of a negative. Lynden Gooch played on the left as a back three, it’s a big call, but the lad, a bit like Luke O’Nien, is desperate to play.

“It’s the same with Goochy, he’ll play anywhere. He’s driven, he’s motived, he’s committed. He did very well the other day.”