Chris Maguire says Sunderland have sent fearsome message out to League One rivals
Chris Maguire says Sunderland put down a marker for the rest of the division in a first half display that put perennial play-off contenders Scunthorpe United to the sword.
Maguire was at the heart of a vibrant attacking display that overwhelmed the visitors, the attacking midfielder scoring his first goal for the club with an audacious backheel on the stroke of half time.
The 29-year-old was thrilled with the team’s display and said it is up to the squad to ensure they keep making the opposition suffer on the Stadium of Light turf.
“We don’t want teams coming here thinking, nice day out, big pitch, great stadium,” he said. “We want to come and roll teams over. It’s a big statement because they’re always there and thereabouts.
“We want to get out of this league as quickly as we can. We knew we had to put a marker down at early at home, we’ve shown that we’re not going to sit and feel sorry for ourselves.
“The fans will come out and help us, you’ve seen that again today. We’ve got to repay that but we want to get everyone together. It’s a new club really, right from the top.
“We got that tempo in the first half. It is a big pitch and we’re confident in the way we play, move it side to side quickly.
“It’s a big pitch and you can kill teams off. They’re always there and thereabouts, they’ve been in the play-offs but we were brilliant today.”
Maguire’s first goal underlined what has been an impressive start his Sunderland career, an ever-present under Jack Ross and quickly winning the affection of his supporters.
The former Bury man is keen to build on his encouraging start and repay the fans who gave him a rousing ovation when he was replaced by Luke O’Nien in the closing stages/
“It was good build-up to all three goals, and I’m delighted to get my first,” he said.
“I feel my performances have been good as well but it’s great to chip in with another goal. It was just instinct, really. It happened so quickly, [Lynden] Gooch firing it across goal, I’m not normally a poacher but I’ve managed to get in there and do it. I’ve played in every game and had three 90 now, which I think is more than I got in the whole of last season.
“I’m delighted, playing every week in front of this support, I’ll thrive on that. They’re brilliant and I’ll keep saying it. They’ve been great and it is up to me to keep producing, keep showing how much I want to be here. It’s better than running out in front of five men and a dog, which I’ve had before!
“The backing gives us a real push forward.”