MARTIN O’Neill has praised Wayne Bridge’s contribution on his full Sunderland debut after replacing the injured Kieran Richardson.
On-loan Manchester City defender Wayne Bridge took Richardson’s place against Liverpool last weekend and enjoyed a solid first start in red and white, helping Sunderland to a fourth clean sheet in eight games.
It was the 31-year-old’s first Premier League start since last May after being frozen out at City and being forced to bide his time for first-team involvement at the Stadium of Light following his January transfer deadline day arrival.
But O’Neill believes the former England international has been happy to be patient for an opportunity with the Black Cats after falling so dramatically down the pecking order under Roberto Mancini.
“Bridge did fine after such a long time out of the game,” added O’Neill.
“He was very pleased to have got the game and I think he’s enjoying it here.
“At least he’s involved at first-team level in the Premiership. That wouldn’t have been happening to him, with the best will in the world, if he had been staying at Manchester City.
“He has trained with us now for more than five weeks, but it was a difficult thing to step into that game from the start. He would have been a wee bit nervous, it’s all fresh again to him. But overall he did fine.”