Gardner hails United old boys’ instant impact

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Craig Gardner believes the reunion of Sunderland’s Champions League winners will have a major impact on the rookie members of Steve Bruce’s squad.

Former Manchester United duo Wes Brown and John O’Shea lined up together for the first time as Sunderland players at Swansea City on Saturday after a hamstring injury ruled the latter out of the opening three games of the season.

The pair helped Sunderland notch a maiden clean sheet of the campaign and Gardner revealed how they have made an instant impact in the Black Cats dressing room.

The 24-year-old said: “Look at the career Wes Brown’s had and we’ve missed John O’Shea, but he’s back now.

“They’re so experienced and it’s good to have that in the team.

“It’s not just how they play, it’s the way they talk to you in the changing room.

“They’ve been there and done it and they know how to get players up for a game.

“I’m still young, Jack (Colback) is still young and the way they talk us through the game and are always in our ears, is good to have in your team.”

While Brown and O’Shea ensured Sunderland were defensively resolute, they were unable to help Bruce’s men find a breakthrough as the Wearsiders went a third successive game without a goal.

But Gardner believes Sunderland are just missing a slice of fortune after spurning a host of opportunities in their first ever visit to the Liberty Stadium.

“It’s a point on the board and the other positive is that we didn’t concede,” added the ex-Birmingham City midfielder.

“But obviously we need to score goals. We’re getting the chances, but, at the minute, they’re just not going in for us.

“I think we’ve been a bit unlucky, but we’re certainly creating enough chances and I’m sure sooner or later the goals have got to come.

“The season’s only just started and it’s not only us who are struggling to score goals. Swansea haven’t scored many either.

“We’ve certainly got the players to do it, we just need that little bit of luck at the minute to get the goals.

“You can’t fault our work-rate, every one of us ran our socks off.

“We could have done with three points. Unfortunately, we only got one but at least we got something out of the game.

“The goals will come and once they do, I’m sure we’ll be a hard team to beat.”