MARTIN O’Neill was more than happy to confess to his full membership of the Fraizer Campbell Fan Club last night.
Asked if he minded the the former England Under-21 striker hogging all the headlines today, despite what was a really good team performance from Sunderland, he said: “No, not at all.
“I would agree that it is becoming quite a story and I’m delighted for Fraizer.
“You see him in the dressing room with that great big smile of his and it’s great.
“And it’s more that just his enthusiasm.
“I thought he played splendidly against Norwich City, got a great goal and created the second one too with a great cross.
“Overall, I thought his performance was brilliant.”
In only his second game back after 17 months out with injury, Campbell has produced two fine performances and notched two goals – not something even the 24-year-old could have dreamt of.
“I think that he has surprised everyone,” reflected O’Neill.
“But, having said that, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised because listening to the medical staff they have praised his attitude throughout this whole process of recovery.
“It is a long time out of the game – 18 months – especially when you’re young.
“But his approach has been top class and there’s no doubt it has given us a big, big lift in the last couple of games.
“I’m really pleased for him and the likes of young Ji and all the young players we have here who have a contribution to make.
“Players like Jack Colback, Craig Gardner and young James McClean did terrifically well, too.
“It was a good performance because I’m aware of the fact that our pitch is a little bit difficult to play on at the moment.
“It is cutting up, it bobbles sometimes and it is not the easiest surface to play on.
“But that’s why I was so pleased with us and the way we played.
“We passed the ball well, played well, ran with it well, showed enthusiasm and got players into their box – all of that was pleasing.
“Norwich have only lost one out of 10 and they’re very impressive and I was always aware that this could be a very difficult game for us.”