O’Neill surprised at Sunderland results

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has admitted that he has been surprised how quickly the club’s performances have improved since he took over. The former Aston Villa boss took over from Steve Bruce in mid-December and has led the club away from the threat of relegation.

O’Neill has overseen victories over Manchester City in the Premier League, as well as knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup last month. Sunderland fans are overjoyed with the appointment of their manager and the boyhood Mackems fan is delighted to be in charge. With a trip to the Sports Direct Arena this weekend to take on rivals Newcastle United, O’Neill will be hoping to correct the 4-0 drubbing received by West Bromwich Albion last Saturday.

The Black Cats boss said: ‘Naturally, I have been surprised by the results. I think that most managers going into a new job would probably look at the fixtures still left and start to count up points here and there that they think they could accumulate. I think that the main concern for the football club was to try and stay in the Barclays Premier League, which is so important and our ultimate goal.’

Everton are O’Neill’s opponents in the quarter final of the FA Cup and Sunderland are one victory away from a first trip to the new Wembley. After beating Arsenal, O’Neill has belief that his team can give everything they have got at Goodison Park.

‘It (the FA Cup) has become important to us. Everton will be very formidable opposition and I think that will be very, very tough for us. It is still there, only eight teams are left so we should give it everything we have got’, O’Neill added.

For more insight from Martin O’Neill and other leading managers plus exclusive Barclays Premier League highlights go to www.yahoo.co.uk/sport

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