EMANUELE GIACCHERINI is delighted to be back ahead of schedule after making his first appearance of the season in the Capital One Cup victory over Birmingham.
Giaccherini was a late substitute in last night’s 3-0 win at St Andrews, as Sunderland booked a third round Stadium of Light tie against Stoke City.
The Italian international was a surprise name on the team-sheet after he was expected to be on the treatment table until the conclusion of the first international break, following a groin strain suffered just nine days before the campaign got underway.
But Giaccherini has shaken off his injury sooner than expected and believes his involvement against the Championship outfit will have proved hugely beneficial.
Giaccherini told SportMail: “I recovered in two weeks and five days.
“They thought I was going to be out for more than three weeks, so I’m happy to be back quickly and to be able to help the team.
“The injury was bad timing because I’d done the whole of pre-season and I felt really good.
“For me, to get 10 minutes is important after not playing this season.
“It’s good to be in this position at all and if the manager wants to play me for 10 minutes or 20 minutes, I will try to make a difference.
“But I’m happy to be back quickly. Now, I just want to stay fit.”
Giaccherini provided the assist for Sunderland’s third goal last night, as Birmingham were hit by a late blitz with the Black Cats netting three times in the final 13 minutes.
That had followed a drab performance for large portions of the game from Gus Poyet’s side, although Giaccherini stressed the importance of last season’s finalists progressing, regardless of the manner of their victory.
“It was a good win last night because this competition is very important for us after getting to the final last year,” said Giaccherini.
“We want to get there again.
“The first half was not great last night. But it’s difficult to go away at this stage.
“We passed the ball better in the second half and in the last 20 minutes, we improved a lot after the first goal.”
Sunderland will look to build on their first win of the campaign in Saturday’s trip to newly-promoted QPR, who suffered a third successive defeat last night, against League Two Burton.
Giaccherini added: “Now we can think about Saturday’s game at QPR and we hope to get that first (league) win.
“They’ve lost three games, but it’s still a difficult game.
“If we can play better though, then we can get that first win.”