Freedom of Sunderland hero Niall Quinn hails Cats new confidence

FREEDOM OF SUNDERLAND: Former Sunderland forward and chairman Niall Quinn, right, and Joel Batteux the Mayor of Sunderland's twin town St. Nazaire.
FREEDOM OF SUNDERLAND: Former Sunderland forward and chairman Niall Quinn, right, and Joel Batteux the Mayor of Sunderland's twin town St. Nazaire.
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NIALL Quinn believes Sunderland are firmly on the comeback trail and says the football they are playing now is good enough to save their Premier League skins.

Former Black Cats’ player, manager and chairman, Quinn was at the Stadium of Light on Sunday in his new role of media pundit to watch Sunderland overcome super-rich Manchester City in inspiring fashion.

And afterwards he was as enthusiastic as any Sunderland fan in the 40,000 plus crowd about the spirit and confidence of the players, as well as their quality.

“You can see the confidence that is coming back,” he told SportMail. “What summed it up for me was a moment in the first half when Sunderland were under a lot of pressure and the defence ended up playing the ball out between themselves, which I was really impressed by.

“To see them knocking the ball about like they did when they’re second bottom of the league and have no right to, was fantastic.”

Quinn, who was yesterday awarded the freedom of the City of Sunderland for services to the community, says that the unity the new head coach is building off the pitch, as well as on it, will be crucial in the months ahead.

And he believes Poyet will be given the time and patience from the supporters that is needed for the Uruguayan to do what is needed to help push Sunderland out of the relegation zone.

“Gus has told the crowd that they might have to be patient, and rightly so,” said Quinn.

“He’s asking them for time and they will give him time, which is exactly what he needs as he looks to turn the team around.

“Their support will be vital.

“But if Sunderland fans can see that every effort is being made at the club, there’ll never be an issue with them getting right behind the team and backing them.”

– GRAEME ANDERSON