Former Rangers defender Gareth McAuley believes former Ibrox team-mate Kyle Lafferty joining Sunderland is a “disaster waiting to happen” for the League One side.
McAuley played alongside Lafferty at Ibrox and for Northern Ireland but doesn’t think “old school” Phil Parkinson will take too kindly to Lafferty’s antics.
The veteran Ulsterman believes Lafferty needs a manager who will “indulge his moments of madness” – and insists Lafferty and Parkinson will be like “chalk and cheese.”
“I fear Kyle Lafferty’s move to Sunderland will be a car crash. A disaster waiting to happen,” McAuley told the Belfast Telegraph.
“I want to see Kyle playing regularly and, if Phil Parkinson wasn’t the Sunderland manager, then the Black Cats would tick all the boxes for him.
“But I struggle to see how ‘old school’ Phil will tolerate Kyle’s behaviour. They will be chalk and cheese.
“Kyle has never been the best trainer, he likes his practical jokes, sometimes goes quiet in games, doesn’t always stick to the schedule and discipline is an issue.
“What Kyle needs is a manager who will accept and indulge his moments of madness, who will put an arm round him, fill him full of confidence and give him the benefit of the doubt when Kyle fails to deliver in games.”
Since leaving Ibrox, Lafferty has had a short stint with Sarpsborg before moving to the Stadium of Light, where he’ll be hoping to fire the Mackems back to the Championship.
The Northern Irish international’s signing was a bit of a surprise and Parkinson, surely, knows what he’s let himself in for before agreeing a deal with Lafferty.
If he doesn’t, then it could really backfire on Sunderland, although the former Rangers man does have the ability to be a big success in the north-east of England – if he can keep focused on his football.