Former Manchester United star O’Shea hails Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland transformation

Sunderland's John O'Shea celebrates after the final whistle.
Sunderland's John O'Shea celebrates after the final whistle.
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JOHN O'Shea paid tribute to manager Martin O'Neill for inspiring Sunderland to a 1-0 win over Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City.

City were looking for a win to put them three points clear after Manchester United lost 3-2 to Blackburn yesterday, but they did not take their chances and Ji Dong-won won it in stoppage time with a goal that had a hint of offside about it.

O'Shea told Sky Sports: "To be fair to City they're a great team and they had a lot of chances, but as a unit we were great today.

"Credit has to go to the manager for giving us that bit of belief to say that we weren't going to lose this game, and he did that at half-time.

"He said, 'We don't want to lose this game 1-0 and people say we did okay, we kept them quiet'."

O'Shea, a former United player, was pleased to do his old side a favour.

He said: "They had a disappointing result yesterday and this will have cheered that up a bit, but more importantly for us it's a fantastic result. The way the lads played showed the character we have in the team and we have to take that forward now."

Midfielder Lee Cattermole said Sunderland's change in fortunes since O'Neill's arrival was to do with belief.

He said: "We've got a spirit where we're going into games believing we're going to win.

"We had some bad luck at the start of the season, I think we were playing the same as we're playing now but we weren't having that luck in the final third."

He also paid tribute to returning goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

"Fair play to Simon," he said. "He had a real serious facial injury and I thought he was magnificent today."