MARCOS ALONSO believes his three-year stint at Bolton has been crucial towards making such an impressive start to his Sunderland career.
Sunderland have won four, drawn one and emerged victorious on penalties in the League Cup semi-final during the six games Alonso has featured in since the left-back arrived at the Stadium of Light on loan from Italian side Fiorentina on the opening day of the January transfer window.
Alonso made just three Serie A appearances for Fiorentina after moving to Italy last summer, yet he has made an immediate impression on Wearside, with Sunderland already thought to be looking at signing the 23-year-old on a permanent basis.
The Spanish defender has put that success down to his previous experience of English football after making 45 appearances in the Premier League and Championship for Bolton.
Alonso told the Echo: “Of course it’s helped (playing in England before). I think the three years of experience at Bolton helped me to learn so much.
“When you come back to England, you know what you’re going to get and it’s much easier to adapt quickly.
“It’s four games in the league, three wins, one draw and we won the semi-final against Man United.
“It couldn’t have been better to be honest!”
Alonso’s arrival has coincided with a remarkable upturn in Sunderland’s fortunes, with Gus Poyet’s side taking 10 points from the last four Premier League games and securing a place in next month’s Capital One Cup final.
But with just two points still separating Sunderland from the drop zone, Alonso says it is crucial that the Black Cats maintain that momentum in Saturday’s clash with fellow strugglers Hull City.
He added: “It’s been a good few weeks, but we need to keep it this way. We have to keep it up until May 11.
“We can’t let our confidence get too high, we have to keep working hard and keep going.
“There are lots of games still to play. We cannot take two weeks as very good and now put our hands down.
“It’s all very tight in the bottom half and that’s why we need to keep going to get to the best possible position.
“Hull are one of our direct rivals so it’s even more important than Saturday.
“We have to make sure they don’t get the three points.”