Martin O'Neill targets success at Sunderland

 

Martin O'Neill is determined to transform Sunderland's fortunes as he takes charge at the Stadium of Light today.

O'Neill watched his new team slide to 17th place in the Barclays Premier League after losing 2-1 to Wolves at Molineux yesterday.

Two goals from Steven Fletcher eased the pressure on Wolves boss Mick McCarthy after Sunderland had gone ahead through Kieran Richardson and then seen Sebastian Larsson squander a penalty.

O'Neill signed a three-year deal on Saturday and the former Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa manager is excited to be back in the game.

"It's a nice feeling to be back in football and obviously I'm very excited about joining Sunderland," he told SAFC TV.

"It's a big moment and I'm hoping it works out well.

"Naturally I want to do well for the fans, the team and myself. If we can combine all this and start winning football matches it would be terrific.

"All I can say, without promising the earth, moon and stars is I will do my utmost to bring a bit of success to Sunderland."

He added: "I would like it to be a really successful period and I'm going to try my best to achieve that. That's what I've come for - that's what I want to do."

Eric Black, who has been serving as Sunderland's caretaker boss, is convinced the managerial skills of the Irishman and the quality players at his disposal will revive the Black Cats.

Black said: "Martin will have seen the strengths that we have. I think he knows there are some good things to take forward, but I think he'll also know that there are some problems.

"I'm sure he'll start trying to rectify those problems, and I'm sure he'll be able to start turning things around."

Wolves registered only their second win in 12 games to climb four points clear of the bottom three, with Fletcher now having netted 10 times in his last 15 league appearances.

McCarthy said: "Fletcher has been terrific in front of goal when he has been fit and he proved again what a valuable asset he is to the team.

"He has been prolific for us and that's why we signed him. He's had impact injuries, not strains, but injuries he can't help or avoid.

"He's had a bad ankle, and he got done with his knee. If we can keep him fit he's a terrific player."

McCarthy opted to drop skipper and centre-back Roger Johnson, with his replacement, Jody Craddock, impressing before suffering a hamstring strain.

McCarthy said: "It hasn't been turning to gold for Roger. After three games I think everybody was universal with the praise he was getting and we were getting for signing him.

"But I've been there as a player and sometimes it just doesn't happen for you and the harder you try, the worse it gets.

"He had an own goal at Liverpool which didn't help and things just seemed to conspire against him. When that happens it's up to me to change it."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat