George Honeyman said scoring a crucial Sunderland goal in front of a jubilant away end at the Pirelli Stadium was ‘just mint’.
And he joked that he was left slightly confused by Joel Asoro’s wild celebrations near the touchline.
The young Swede delivered a superb assist for his team-mate to score the second goal in Saturday’s much-needed 2-0 win at Burton Albion in what whas a richly promising cameo, and a jovial Honeyman was full of praise.
“From a personal point of view, I’ve always said I just want to stay in the team, so I’ve got to do all I can to do that,” Honeyman said.
“When you win and you contribute with a goal, hopefully it’s enough to stay in it. I just want to play games for Sunderland.
“Our away end at the end there – it doesn’t get better than that.
“It [the goal] was a bit weird because Joel ran off and I thought, ‘Eh? I’m sure I’ve scored here!’
“It was just a massive relief. I love scoring goals and I want to keep contributing to the team. To do it in front of the away fans was just mint.
“Callum (McManaman) did a good job and the lads are saying he wore the full-back out for Joel to come on and run at him.
“Everyone’s got to contribute and that’s what, as a young player, you’ve got to do. You’ve got to take your chances and Joel has.”
The 23-year-old also hailed new boss Chris Coleman and said the Welshman has already had a big impact on both him and the team as a whole.
He said: “For such little time, he’s had a big impact.
“Before Villa, he did a 20-minute session and we had a shape, a way we wanted to play. I think everyone’s really looking forward to working with him.
“You can see why he did such a good job as the Wales manager.
“As the gaffer keeps saying, we’ve got to keep focusing on the performance and the results will come.
“Don’t get bogged down too much thinking you’ve got to win this, just play well, keep it tight and we will win games.
“It’s obvious we want to win, it’s about how you achieve that.
“He’s given me little pointers to my game already and it’s nice to have little things to work on and I’m thinking about my game a lot more at the minute.
“It’s not massive things, it’s just little pointers and it seems to be working so far.
“Long may it continue.
“It’s been the same with the week.
“He’s only been here a week so if he laid on a massive amount of information it would be too much.
“He’s just given us little pointers and, in most games, we haven’t been too far away, so it’s just little things and the results should follow.”