Gus Poyet has said he always believed that Santiago Vergini would come good at Sunderland after the Argentine endured a tough start on Wearside.
Vergini has been a key figure in the club's surprise revival, deputizing for the suspended Phil Bardsley at right back and doing a rather splendid job of it too. Poyet told the Sunderland Echo:
I'm delighted for Santi. He came in and he did well. He was very impressive.
He's calm on the ball and I know he might run in an unusual manner and pass the ball in a risky way at times, but he is adapting to this country's style of football and he is a quality player.
Elsewhere, Lee Cattermole has hailed Vito Mannone after the Italian took home the Supporters' Association Player of the Year award.
Catts told the official site:
It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. He’s kept us in a lot of games in a big season. I’m chuffed to bits for him, as all the players are.
Extra kudos due there for using the word 'chuffed' I think. Well played.
Speaking of players of the year, the winner of the Young Player of the Year award, Fabio Borini, has suggested that Cardiff may be fearing coming to the Stadium of Light this weekend for the huge relegation six-pointer.
I remember last year playing with Liverpool and it wasn’t easy. It’s never easy to come and play against Sunderland.
Much as I love Fabio, I'd make a counter-suggestion that anyone taking no less than a mere glance at our home record over the last three two years won't hold much fear for it!