Former Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty has spoken for the first time since completing his surprise move to join Sunderland on a short-term deal – and bizarrely insisted that the Mackems are “right up there” with Rangers as “one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

Lafferty was a free agent after his Sarpsborg contract came to an end and put pen to paper on a deal until the end of the season with Phil Parkinson’s side as they look to get out of League One.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Kyle Lafferty of Rangers takes a look around the pitch prior to the UEFA Europa League Group G match between Rangers and Villarreal CF at Ibrox Stadium on November 29, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Lafferty believes his past with Rangers has him well prepared for the demands of the Sunderland support and knows the expectation is there to win every game.

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“Rangers is probably one of the biggest clubs in the world and Sunderland is right up there as well; the fanbase, the size and structure of the club is equal to Rangers,” Lafferty said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.

“So, I know what it takes to play for a club of this size and what to expect.

 

“The fans expect you to go out and win every single game, no matter who it is against, whether it’s (a team from) the top of the league or the bottom. You have to pick up maximum points in every game.”

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The veteran Northern Irishman was widely expected to rejoin former side Hearts this month before heading for the Stadium of Light and another crack at English football.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 23: Kyle Lafferty of Rangers is seen during the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Play Off match between Rangers and FC Ufa at Ibrox Stadium on August 23, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With Sunderland sitting sixth in League One, they are still falling short of expectations and will be hoping Lafferty can help them to automatic promotion.

After sacking Jack Ross earlier in the season and replacing him with Parkinson, the former Rangers striker will be hoping to hit the ground running and help them reach the Championship – and possibly win an extended contract.

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