SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: No time to relax at Sunderland

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

September 11

THE HEAT IS ON: Chris Brown scored the first goal of the Roy Keane era and admitted no-one at Sunderland can now relax.

Keane introduced all five available deadline day signings for Saturday’s 2-1 win at Derby. Dwight Yorke is now with the Black Cats’ squad, and Brown says the pressure is on to produce.

The 21-year-old striker said: “Being in the gaffer’s first team filled me with confidence. He’s brought in a lot of signings quickly and that puts pressure on everyone to do their jobs.

“There’s competition in every position now and the lads know that the gaffer will make changes. But he’s filled us with confidence really and when you’ve got a guy like Roy Keane expressing his faith in you then it can only help belief.

“We’ve got a couple of wins under our belts now and we’ve got to go to Leeds on Wednesday and keep the momentum going. If we can put a run together we can get among the top group of teams quickly.

Derby took the lead through skipper Matt Oakley in first-half injury time before Sunderland sparked into life at Pride Park. Brown netted a 62nd-minute leveller then new boy Ross Wallace added the winner 90 seconds later.

Both were booked for their celebrations in front of 4,709 travelling fans – Brown for jumping into the crowd and Wallace for removing his shirt.

The striker said: “I needed that goal for my confidence. I’ve been doing OK in games but a striker is judged on goals. It was a daft booking to get and I’ll know not to do the same again in future, but it was a special moment scoring in front of our fans.

“It was a massive turnout. They were our 12th man.”

Brown said Keane had won the respect of his players without having to show his hard side.

“When we went in at half-time on Saturday there was no shouting or anything,” said the forward. “I don’t think we would have deserved a rollicking. He said he believed in us and to be told that when you’re a goal down is a big boost.”