Quinn Hails Poyet's Sunderland Transformation

Julian Finney

Gus has a friend in Niall.

It may be early days in Gus Poyet's Sunderland tenure, but Black Cats legend Niall Quinn says he can see plenty of reasons to be encouraged about their chances of survival this season.

Sunderland battled back from two goals down to earn a draw at a rain-swept Stadium of Light on Saturday to make it just one defeat in their last ten games. The point wasn't enough to finally break free of the relegation zone, but Quinn doesn't appear especially worried.

There is a bit of belief in the air there now – you know they have got something.

I really like what Gus has brought to them and they are organised. But I also believe there’s a bit of spirit in the camp.

They have not won every game, it has not been perfect but he has not gone after the players and slated them in public.

You know the last guy, when they won, it was all down to him and when they lost it was all their fault. Poyet has done the exact opposite. He understands it a bit better and he is bringing people out of their shells.

Adam Johnson is coming good now. Lee Cattermole has come back out of the wilderness to do well. The two centre-backs – Wes Brown and John O’Shea – have been very good.

Gus has had injuries, too. Keeper Keiren Westwood getting injured looked to be a blow but Vito Mannone has come in and looked a million dollars.

Okay, so it reads like as much a badly-veiled pop at Paolo Di Canio as a ringing tribute to Poyet. And, let's be honest, Quinn is an excitable optimist even at the worst of times. However, much of what he says does ring true here.

We just enjoy hearing from Quinny to be honest. It's nice to know he still loves us. It's a bit like when your kids leave home and you are happy for them to be living their lives, but it's nice to get a call now and then.

We still love you too, big man. (was it a 'big man' moment? It definitely felt like one.)

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