Sunderland’s midfield engine room to be paired again for Aston Villa

David Vaughan
David Vaughan

DAVID Vaughan believes Sunderland’s diminutive central midfield duo can continue to reach the heights.

Steve Bruce opted to partner 5ft 7in Welsh international Vaughan with 5ft 9in Jack Colback for the first time as a midfield double act in last weekend’s victory at Bolton.

The duo worked well in tandem and their dominant performance in the second half looks set to see them paired together again for Saturday’s visit of Aston Villa.

With Lee Cattermole, Craig Gardner and David Meyler waiting in the wings, Vaughan knows competition is fierce for a place in the engine room, but insists his partnership with Colback can be a successful one.

Vaughan said: “I feel I have done well in a couple of games and not so well in others, but I have been pleased overall.

“Me and Jack are quite similar. We get about the pitch and we are quite small, but we like to be on the ball and it worked well at Bolton.

“Hopefully we can build on our start together and we have just got to hope the manager sticks with us.

“But you know that in Lee Cattermole and Craig Gardner, the manager has two good midfielders who are unlucky not to be playing. We have to keep it up.”

Sunderland are aiming for back-to-back wins for the first time since January against Villa after taking a modest nine points from the opening nine games.

But former Blackpool man Vaughan is cautious of Sunderland’s chances after turning in their worst performance of the season at Norwich City, eight days after securing a first win of the campaign against Stoke City.

“It’s vital we don’t turn in a similar performance in the next game to the Norwich one,” added the 28-year-old.

“Yes, we have beaten Bolton and beaten them well, but we have to focus on the next game and make sure those levels don’t drop for the visit of Villa.

“The league table wasn’t happy reading and you can’t help but worry about things like that.

“But it is only early in the season and if we perform like we did in the second half at Bolton, we will be fine.

“We needed to get the points on the board at Bolton because if you pick up points against the big teams they’re a bonus. We need to win games like Bolton and Villa.

“The confidence should be with us now and hopefully we can go on a bit of a run, get that form up there and climb the table.”