Sunderland eye best of British next season

Sunderland will change their transfer policy next season and focus on home-grown players, according to sporting director Lee Congerton.

Former manager Paolo Di Canio brought in a host of players from around Europe in the build-up to this Premier League season, but many have failed to make an impact, leaving Sunderland struggling near the foot of the table.

Congerton believes focusing on British players with top-flight experience will benefit them more, and there will be a stronger emphasis on scouting.

"Ultimately we want British players, but they cost a lot more money so we need to be smart in the market place and do our research thoroughly," he told Sunderland's matchday programme.

"When you bring in a foreign player you've got to appreciate the difficulties off the field and the patience needed.

"It helps if they've already played in the league. I look at Fabio Borini, who I think has been a success this year.

"He's a foreign player, but he's been established in this country since he was around 15 or 16 years of age. I think that's a market you have to look at quite carefully."

Defeat to West Ham on Monday left Sunderland four points from safety in the Premier League with eight games remaining.