Out of contract last summer, Hume’s involvement in protracted talks earned him criticism from many Sunderland fans, who accused him of a lack of loyalty.
He eventually penned a fresh two-year deal in September, albeit with even boss Lee Johnson stating ‘Our only regret is that this wasn’t completed sooner’.
Some never forgave the 23-year-old, with accusations re-emerging following his departure for Fratton Park.
But, as Hume explains, the issue wasn’t straightforward.
He told The News: ‘I was out of contract and didn’t know how things were going to pan out. ‘A hamstring injury from the play-offs made it a little difficult to kind of judge what I was going to do and where I was going to be.
‘Sunderland also may have expected to go up and then didn’t, there were a lot of factors in it.
‘But, ultimately, I just wanted to get that out of the way, get my head down and get back fit, which I did.
‘I don’t really listen to any outside noise, I just try to concentrate on what I’m doing on the pitch. Having the injury at the time, I wasn’t really too bothered by what other people were saying from the outside.
‘For myself, I just want to concentrate on getting back fit and getting back out there.
‘If you start listening to the outside noise and what other people think then you’re going to get distracted from the main thing, which, at the end of the day, was playing football.
‘I wanted to get fit first. At the time, the injury was my main priority. There were a lot of things going on, like the club not going up and stuff, so I was more concentrating on that.
‘Ultimately, I ended up signing a contract which kept me at the club.
‘From there, I didn’t complain, I kept my head down, waiting to get back fit and I was involved in the last two or three months.
‘There was no rush to sign my contract and I don’t really like to listen to any of the outside noise.
‘I prefer to just do my thing and concentrate on what the people around me actually think rather than all the outside noise.’
Until last week’s relocation to the south coast, Hume had been with the Black Cats since the age of nine, rising through their Academy to break into the first-team.
Hailing from Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland, he remains a Manchester United fan, yet, over 15 years, grew deeply affectionate towards the club he represented 84 times.
He added: ‘I’m a Manchester United fan just because when I was really young, my older brother supported them and they were probably the best team at the time.
‘Other parts of my family support Sunderland and other parts support Newcastle, just because of where I’m from.
‘But obviously when you’ve been at a club for 15 years (Sunderland), then you end up following the first-team, which is natural.
‘I joined Sunderland at under-nines, that’s all I have known, so coming down here is a big change for me – and I’m looking forward to that challenge.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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