JOHN O’SHEA and Seb Larsson have both been at Sunderland for three-and-a-half years, but they are now showing their best form in a red and white shirt.
One of the reasons for that could be both are now operating in slightly different roles to when they first arrived, and those changes have suited them both.
O’Shea’s early games were as a full-back where he never looked totally at ease. With his experience and reading of the game, centre-back suits him far better.
Saying that, he didn’t let anyone down as an emergency left-back against Newcastle on Sunday.
Larsson arrived as a wide player, but is now relishing his more central role in a midfield three, where he has produced eye-catching displays lately, including a man-of-the-match derby performance.
His work-rate and desire hasn’t gone unnoticed by the fans.
O’Shea and Larsson haven’t always been flavour of the month with Sunderland supporters, but they’ve proved you can turn things around and, with the busy Christmas and New Year period coming up, Poyet will know he has two key players that he can rely on.