Last season when things were looking bleak a certain Italian manager ruined his suit celebrating a victory that would ultimately prove vital in the fight for Premiership survival. This year a certain Uruguayan manager decided to save himself a trip to Sketchley’s but was no less delighted in an identical scoreline which has continued the improvement we have seen since his appointment. A point would have been good but three is massive. Of course there’s still a way to go but with the players’ self belief growing all the time things are on the up. What is needed now is positive performances in the remaining home games against those teams around us but today Gus Poyet can revel in an excellent display, reflect on the importance to Sunderland fans everywhere and even see a positive in his players squabbling amongst themselves.
I know how important it is to the club to beat their local rivals, my first victory here at the club was against Newcastle. We have been under pressure to get back-to-back wins – this is an unbelievable weekend for everybody close to Sunderland football club.
The fans know what we are trying to achieve here and the players have been fantastic. The way we were set up was good. It was important to have Liam [Bridcutt] in place as we knew Lee [Cattermole] was going to miss the game and we needed some stability in midfield to let the rest of the players to get forward.
As the game went on Ki [Sung Yueng] was more and more influential and then Jack [Colback] went on to get his goal. Every time we were under pressure we were able to regain control of the game.
The good thing about the penalty was that so many of the players wanted to take it – they were fighting over the ball at one point! Fabio [Borini] missed out on taking one at Old Trafford and it was a great feeling for him to take the penalty today. You need to take those chances when you come somewhere like St James’ Park – if you get a penalty you must score it, Fabio did just that and gave us the platform to go on and win the game.
Newcastle started pushing players forward and we had to make the most of that space. We were getting forward and taking advantage of that.
Adam [Johnson] is on fire at the moment, scoring another goal – the team are in good shape. I’m very happy for Jack too; it was an important goal at 2-0 up and it sealed the game for us.
All the best,
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