SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: No doubts over Yorke, Varga has unfinished business

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2006

KEANE: NO DOUBTS OVER DWIGHT:

ROY KEANE has no doubts about Dwight Yorke’s commitment to Sunderland.

The Striker was quoted in Australia saying he was “gutted” to leave Sydney FC in favour of Wearside.

But Keane – who confirmed that his former Manchester United team-mate will not feature in Saturday’s Championship game at Derby – is confident the Trinidad and Tobago World Cup star will give everything for the Black Cats.

The Sunderland boss told SAFC World: “I spoke with Dwight on the phone and there’s no problem at all.

“He’s looking to be here in the next few days and was never going to be involved in this weekend’s game.

“I’m looking for him to get a full week’s training with us. He’s obviously got some stuff to tidy up in Sydney, but when he’s here we’ll be looking at when he’s sharp enough and fit enough. Things will be great with Dwight; no worries there.”

Yorke gave an interview to the Sydney Daily Telegraph expressing his deep disappointment at having to leave Oz.

Given the climate and the lifestyle he enjoyed Down Under, and the fact he was the biggest star of the fledgling Aussie league, it would have been a surprise if he wasn’t disappointed to swap Sydney Harbour for Roker Marina.

Keane said: “I am sure Dwight was very happy in Sydney, but I spoke to him (yesterday) and he was all positive.

“He is coming back to a new challenge and it is credit to Sunderland that we have managed to get him because I know there were a couple of offers for him over the summer. I am expecting good things of Yorkie.”

Speaking for the first time since making Yorke one of six new signings on transfer deadline day – the others being striker David Connolly, midfielders Graham Kavanagh, Liam Miller and Ross Wallace and defender Stanislav Varga – Keane said he was more than satisfied with the business he’d completed.

He added: “It was a coincidence this time that I’ve worked with all of the lads I’ve brought in.

“Dwight is certainly a character, but it’s not just about him it’s all the other lads too. It’s not just what they bring to the pitch, it’s what they bring to the dressing room.

“You have to have a bubbly, happy dressing room. I know results have not been going right, but you look around the dressing room for one or two characters to lift players. There is a danger you can bring too many new faces, but I felt the squad needed strengthening.

“It was a real bonus to get the lads I wanted. One or two others didn’t work out, but I’m delighted with the ones I got. I know them as players and I know them as characters, what they bring to training and what they bring to the club.”

VARGA’S UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

STANISLAV Varga feels he has unfinished business with Sunderland after buying into Roy Keane’s vision for the future.

The 33-year-old Slovakian returned to the Stadium of Light for his second spell on deadline day after former team-mates Keane and chairman Niall Quinn outlined their blueprint for success.

And the towering central defender admitted he took little persuading to exit Champions League football with Celtic for life in the Championship.

Varga said: “I am delighted to be back and delighted to play for a person like Roy Keane.

“There are three aspects to why I came here: the first, that Roy Keane is the manager; the second one, that Niall Quinn is the chairman; and the third one is that I always felt when I left Sunderland, I left here unfinished business.

“Every club I have played for, I have always wanted to do my best for them.

“I know those two people (Keane and Quinn) want to get Sunderland back to where it was before. I do not think Roy Keane as a manager would like to change his attitude and be second best.”

Varga saw Keane’s renowned determination to succeed at first hand during the former Republic of Ireland midfielder’s brief spell at Celtic, and was impressed enough to accept his offer of employment.

He said: “He just wanted other players to give 100 per cent. That’s what he wanted to do, and I do not think he will change attitude as a manager. He will always ask for 100 percent, and he will always ask the players to give everything to win games.

“He is a person who can lead players. He has tremendous respect from everyone. When he was a player, he had tremendous respect from his team-mates, so now when he is the gaffer, the manager, he just has that more.

“He is the main reason I came here.”