Emanuele Giaccherini back for Sunderland and hopes to play at Aston Villa

BACK ON THE BALL: Emanuele Giaccherini in action for Sunderland against Hull City. Picture by FRANK REID
BACK ON THE BALL: Emanuele Giaccherini in action for Sunderland against Hull City. Picture by FRANK REID
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EMANUELE GIACCHERINI says his return to the fold after more than three months on the sidelines offered a crumb of comfort in yet another post-derby lull for Sunderland.

Gus Poyet had envisaged big things for Giaccherini this season.

But it has been a miserable campaign for the 29-year-old, who returned yesterday after ankle trouble.

Giaccherini was introduced for the final half-hour against the Tigers and hopes he can now finally get his season up and running by continuing his comeback in tomorrow’s trip to Aston Villa.

“I hope I can play the next game and try to build my fitness,” he said. “I’m happy to just be back. I played 30 minutes yesterday and I’m happy for that.

“I’m ready for Sunday now. I don’t know whether I will start in the 11, but I’m ready.”

Sunderland enjoyed a dream start yesterday when Adam Johnson pounced with just 30 seconds on the clock.

But Gaston Ramirez benefited from a fortuitous bounce to equalise and referee Andre Marriner failed to penalise two handballs with penalties, Sunderland imploded in the second half.

“Before the game, the gaffer said we beat Newcastle and then lost against Hull [last season],” added Giaccherini. “After 30 seconds, it was 1-0 and we controlled the first half.

“They had one shot and scored.

“But from that, the game changed. The second half, Hull City were better than us. That’s football and you have to move on.

“But we just have to think about the next game against Aston Villa.

“Aston Villa have got 20 points, we’ve got 19, so we’ve got to try to go for the win.”