Gus: Now that’s why I pursued Buckley!

Will Buckley takes on Tyler Blackett in yesterday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United. Picture by Corrina Atkinson
Will Buckley takes on Tyler Blackett in yesterday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United. Picture by Corrina Atkinson
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GUS POYET believes Will Buckley has immediately demonstrated why he spent so long chasing the former Brighton winger.

Buckley shone on his first Premier League start in yesterday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United after Adam Johnson’s illness forced Gus Poyet to turn to the £2.5million new signing.

Sunderland resurrected their interest in Buckley this summer after seeing a January move for the 24-year-old fall through.

But after Sunderland finally landed their man 10 days ago, Poyet was delighted to see Buckley show what he can add to the Black Cats attack.

Poyet said: “I am so pleased that he had a very good first half because now everybody knows why I was so consistent in asking the club to bring him.

“It took us seven and a half months, but we got him here and now everybody knows why – because he is electric, because he’s direct, because he brings the stands into a different feeling, the atmosphere.

“He is going to do plenty of things. Now, don’t expect it every week – £2.5m.

“People pay £30m and £40m and £50m – we paid £2.5m, so let’s be patient.

“But he showed yesterday why he is here and that makes me very happy.”

The head coach added: “He is very quiet, shy, but when he is on the pitch and he’s got the chance to attack you, he’s a nightmare.

“He is confident with the position that we play him, he knows what we want from him.

“He doesn’t need to make too many decisions, apart from doing what he does best and being in position.”

Buckley was pipped to the man of the match prize by Lee Cattermole, who was again superb in the midfield holding role.

Poyet said: “Lee has been outstanding from the moment I arrived at the club.

“He is the most improved player without any doubt.

“He is keeping Liam Bridcutt out of this team because of his performances, so it’s all because of him. It’s not me, it’s him.”

The other major positive for Poyet was a first Sunderland goal for Jack Rodwell after the £10m midfielder’s header from Seb Larsson’s corner cancelled out Juan Mata’s opener for United.

“I have tried to explain in the past, Jack is going to have a special role in this team,” added Poyet.

“We have got a player from midfield who can get into the box in open play, but also with his presence at set-plays, we are definitely a bigger team.

“When I got here, we looked very, very small and there were games where we suffered. West Ham and Stoke, they were more powerful than us – now we are giving a threat sometimes on set-plays, which is good as well.

“It’s part of the game and it’s nice when you come to a new club and you have got a price-tag on you, to score against a top team and give your team a point. It was important for Jack’s confidence.”