EMANUELE GIACCHERINI insists he is enjoying life on Wearside under Gus Poyet’s Sunderland evolution.
Summer signing Giaccherini has started each of Sunderland’s last two games after being confined to an unused substitute’s role for the previous two back-to-back encounters against Newcastle and Hull.
The £6.8million capture has been linked with a return to his native Italy with Inter Milan over recent weeks, albeit the Serie A side have distanced themselves from the speculation.
But Giaccherini, in the Italy squad for tomorrow’s friendly with Germany, says he is relishing Poyet’s style of play, with the new head coach implementing a possession-based philosophy at the Stadium of Light.
Giaccherini said: “We are playing differently under Mr Poyet.
“We’ve changed the mentality among the players since he arrived.
“And now we are proving that we can play differently too and it’s an advantage for us.
“I enjoy playing that way and I’m happy to play in this team.”
Sunderland will resume their survival battle after the international break in a healthier position after back-to-back home wins over Newcastle and Manchester City have taken their tally to seven points from 11 games.
Giaccherini realises that Sunderland still have a huge task on their hands to avoid the drop, with the Black Cats three points drift of fourth bottom Stoke City - their next opponents, with the two teams meeting at the Britannia Stadium in nine days time.
But the 28-year-old believes beating one of the Premier League’s heavyweights in Man City has injected the belief into Poyet’s men that they have the quality needed to remain in the top flight.
“It was a very big win for us,” added the former Juventus midfielder.
“We performed well against Man City who are one of the big teams in the Premier League.
“We had to give everything because the game was more difficult than others.
“But we got our goal and did very well in the first half.
“In the second half, Man City came out and we had to defend a lot more.
“But it was important that we held on to win.
“These wins against Man City and Newcastle will help us go forward.
“There are still 27 games to go and we’ve only got seven points.
“So we’ve got to continue because we’ve still got a lot to do.