O’Shea hails new Sunderland signings

Sunderland captain John O’Shea has hailed the impact that the club’s January signings have made as the club look to stave off the threat of relegation, the Shields Gazette has reported.

Manager Gustavo Poyet was among the busiest during the January transfer window, signing five players. Marcos Alonso, on loan from Fiorentina, has become first choice at left-back, Liam Bridcutt impressed on his debut at Newcastle United, while Argentine trio Oscar Ustari, Santiago Vergini and Ignaco Scocco have all played a part.

Those arrivals have coincided with an improved run of form for the Black Cats since the turn of the year, as they have reached the final of the Capital One Cup and the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. However, they are still in the Premier League relegation zone having lost their last game, against Hull City.

And O’Shea believes that the new arrivals can help decide Sunderland’s Premier League fate. The Irishman said: “The manager knew all about the players he brought in January. That was an important thing for him. He wanted players who could settle in quickly because of the position we’re in.

“We needed to add quality to the squad too to increase the competition and I think he’s done that. If you have competition, that will always be the key to a successful team.”

Vergini is set to play alongside O’Shea at Arsenal on Saturday, and the captain had some encouraging words for the 25-year-old. “It will be the manager’s call when Wes (Brown) comes back, but Santi has obviously done brilliantly,” added O’Shea

“For him to come into these games in the way he has, has been fantastic. He’s very, very comfortable on the ball coming out from the back and he’s a no-nonsense defender when he has to be too.’

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