WES Brown is backing fellow centre-half Santiago Vergini to be a hit at Sunderland.
Brown was restored to the Black Cats’ starting line-up for the Capital One Cup final last weekend at the expense of the January signing following the 4-1 defeat to Arsenal in which Vergini dropped a massive defensive clanger.
The 25-year-old Argentine directed a blind back pass to keeper Vito Mannone in the first half which Olivier Giroud pounced on to put Arsenal 2-0 up, leaving Sunderland little chance of recovering.
But Brown has seen enough of the defender to know quality when he sees it.
Vergini was excellent in FA Cup encounters against Kidderminster and Southampton in which clean sheets were kept.
And Brown said: “Santiago Vergini is a good player.
“He made a mistake, but then we’ve all done that.
“I’ve made a few mistakes in my time – I’ve made a few over the last couple of weeks!
“And Santiago will bounce back like we all do.
“People were talking about him challenging me for a place in the cup final at Wembley if he had a great game at Arsenal.
“But I would rather we had won the game and not let any in and then the gaffer would have had a difficult decision to make.”
The former Manchester United defender, now 34 years old, is enjoying an Indian summer to his career at Sunderland which looked unlikely when he was sidelined for 22 months with injury from January 2012 to November 2013.
But he has been superb since his return and a major factor in Sunderland’s revival this season and the ex-England international says he never doubted his capacity to come back.
“A few people had mentioned stuff to me, but as soon as I came back pre-season I felt fine, I felt OK,” reflected Brown.
“I had a few niggles, but that’s natural when you haven’t played for so long, that’s always the situation, so I never worried about it, I just worked through it.
“I was injured very early in my Man United career and I just decided back then not to let it bother me and to work through it and get on with it.”