Malcolm Dawson writes,
for only the third time this season Martin O’Neill can celebrate a Premiership victory in his personal e-mail to Monsieur Salut but I’m sure that I’m not the only one who feels that there is little there that we couldn’t see for ourselves. Still on a freezing cold night, when McClean’s early strike calmed the beating hearts of the nervous and multiple layers kept the chill at bay we’ll forgive him for that. With a tricky set of fixtures in the offing let’s rejoice with the Boss.
It was a great performance, very spirited. We scored three good goals and we won the game convincingly.
The early goal was very important because recently we’ve been chasing games and sometimes we’ve given ourselves mountains to climb.
It was great to score early. I thought there were signs that James [McClean] is returning to the form we’ve seen from him before.
Steven Fletcher was magnificent. He had no training whatsoever this week and for him to start the game for us was great, but to complete the game was even better – I wasn’t expecting him to do that!
I thought he may last until half-time. He’s a fine player and he is so important for us.
I wonder where we’d be without his goals at this point. He’s done exceptionally well and I’m delighted with him.
Having him back in the side gave the dressing room a big boost. He’s a popular player, quiet but popular with the team – he’ll be even more popular tonight.
The fans were absolutely terrific. Of course they were apprehensive and nervous about the game, but they were very supportive.
If we can give that effort and commitment every week at the Stadium of Light the crowd will stay with us.
All the best,