Gary Rowell: Sunderland should back O’Neill in window

Gary Rowell

Gary Rowell

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THE January transfer window is now open and, like every other Sunderland fan, I’m hoping the club might be able to do a bit of business by the end of it.

I get the distinct impression that Martin O’Neill has been keen to avoid the suggestion he is a cheque-book manager after his time at Aston Villa, where he made quite a few high-profile, big-money signings.

He has been at pains to point out that he took the Sunderland job without asking a single question about transfer budgets.

But I also noticed, after the Wigan game, that he was pondering whether the club needs to go into the transfer market with the list of injuries having mounted worryingly over the last few weeks.

I hope he does.

I saw Niall Quinn talking in the run-up to the Manchester City game about the fact that most transfer mistakes seem to be made in the January transfer window.

That might or might not be true.

But it’s also arguable that the best time to buy is when things are going well for you; when you’re in a position of strength.

After our first two games in 2012, Sunderland are in a position of strength, especially with the win over Wigan, which took the club into the top half of the table.

If ever there was a time to back Martin O’Neill in the transfer market, now is the time.

The new manager has done wonders on a limited squad so far, but I can’t see it lasting with more knocks being picked up virtually by the day.

Of course, I think both the manager and the owner will want to spend transfer money in the summer rather than the January transfer window, but if O’Neill feels he needs to bring in a player or two on loan or permanently right now, then he needs to be able to.

Sunderland have suffered before in the Premier League from not investing in January transfer windows. And I think that the manager has certainly earned the right, in these few short weeks, to ask the owner for a bit of backing in the transfer market if he’s able to give it.

Let’s look to kick on if at all possible.

READ the full column in Thursday’s Echo