First win for season gives Davis shot of confidence

Of all the 12 men Mick McCarthy recruited in his attempts to build a side capable of surviving in the top flight, Davis was perhaps the one player expected to have the least difficulty in making the transition to the Premiership.

However, his blunder at Chelsea gifted Geremi the opening goal in a 2-0 defeat and he was involved in the mix-up which led to West Bromwich claiming a late equaliser to deny Sunderland their first win of the season nine days ago.

A week on, however, the Bedford-born player proved his class with a string of fine saves at the Riverside Stadium to lay the foundation for a famous derby victory over Middlesbrough as Sunderland ended their long wait for a Premiership win.

Delighted as he was to have proved his critics wrong, he played down the pressure of his first few months in the North-east.

"I don't get too worried about criticism," he said. "At the end of the day I've always believed it's a team game and as a goalkeeper you are going to come in for criticism when you are bottom of the league and you have conceded goals and things aren't quite going the way you would like.

"But on Sunday I was just pleased to have a few saves to make and make a contribution to a win. You are going to get it whether you like it or not. Whether I think it's justified or not, that's the way it is.

"I'm not too concerned about criticism or praise because for me it's a team game and as long as the team wins I'll be happy."

The fact that McCarthy stood firmly behind his goalkeeper as the flak started to fly was a comfort, and that faith was justified by a performance, both individually and collectively, which did much to raise spirits at the Stadium of Light.

"If he was saying the reverse you would be concerned, but as long as the manager's happy and I'm happy with my performances then I'll keep pushing on," Davis said.

"We are not going to get too high. It's one win, it's three points. We have still got a long way to go, but we are looking upwards now rather than looking at what could be a long season for us. We are happy with the way we played."

Sunderland will head into the home Premiership game with West Ham on Saturday on a high, but McCarthy's pragmatism means that they will not be allowed to get carried away by their success on Teesside, with the late disappointment against West Bromwich serving as a reminder of the fine line between success and failure.

"We were shot in the heart last week, so to come to a local derby and to get a 2-0 win was a massive boost for us and a massive step forward," Davis said.

"The lads smelled it before the game and it was, 'It's now or never, let's cut to the chase and start winning games' - and that's what we did. The first win was massive and we were so unlucky last week not to come away with that, and now we have got to take it into our next game, which is a home game again.

"We know the supporters are going to be bang up for it. We have given them something to cheer about and I hope they come and support us next week in the fashion they did at Middlesbrough, because they were superb."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her in Latakia
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report