The brilliant Luke O'Nien anecdote that Sunderland fans will love
Charlie Methven has revealed Luke O’Nien’s brilliant reaction to his poor start at Sunderland - and how a meeting between the pair kick-started his rise.
The former Wycombe Wanderers man joined the Black Cats last summer, but failed to make an impression during his early weeks on Wearside.
However, O’Nien quickly turned a corner - with executive director Methven revealing how an ‘unusual’ meeting between the pair helped the 25-year-old banish his frustrations.
“Last season, a player came in here and in his first couple of appearances he bombed,” explained Methven, speaking to supporters at a club talk-in.
“A week later, very unusually for a footballer, he knocked on my office door.
“He came in and put himself down on the infamous Martin Bain sofa and this player said ‘I’m really struggling. This level is higher, the training is better than what I’m used to, it’s quicker than I’m used to, the pressure on the pitch is bigger.
“But then he said ‘I’m going to get there.’
“That player was Luke O’Nien.
“If you’d have said in September last year when he came into my office that a year down the line he would be one of the best players in our squad, I don’t think anyone would have believed you.
“His mentality was one of determination and ‘I’m going to get there’.
“He just wanted someone to get his frustrations out to and from that moment on he went upwards and upwards.”
O’Nien has since gone on to make over 60 appearances for Sunderland, netting five times.