DAVID Vaughan says he’s grateful for the faith Martin O’Neill has shown in him since becoming Sunderland manager last month.
For one reason or another, Vaughan was in and out of the Black Cats’ side under ex-boss Steve Bruce.
But he has started every one of O’Neill’s eight games at the helm and has rewarded that selection with some fine displays and two eye-catching goals from midfield.
He told the Echo: “I’m pleased to be playing.
“It’s good to have been given a run in the side.
“I think I’ve started all the games under Martin O’Neill and hopefully that will continue.
“I’d have liked to have played better in some games, but you can’t be at your best in every single match.
“I’ve managed to chip in with a couple of goals though, and they’ve been decent strikes, too.
“I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to keep on scoring goals like those, but I’ll do my best!”
It was Vaughan who helped get O’Neill’s Sunderland career off to a fairy-tale start, scoring the first goal of the new manager’s reign as the Black Cats came from behind to beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.
And Vaughan weighed in with another screamer, scoring Sunderland’s last goal in the 4-1 routing of Wigan at the DW Stadium at the start of 2012.
And the Welshman is hoping he can keep contributing goals to the cause, although O’Neill has not put him under pressure to deliver.
“The manager hasn’t said anything to me about it,” he said. “When an opportunity comes, I just want to have a go at it.
“The confidence that comes once you score a couple of goals is also a factor.
“I don’t tend to break into the box a great deal, so most of my goals are from outside the area.”