Marc McNulty reveals how he REALLY feels about criticism from Sunderland fans
Marc McNulty insists he is happy to take flak from Sunderland fans - and believes it can act as a source of motivation.
Another bumper crowd is expected at the Stadium of Light this afternoon for the visit of promotion rivals Portsmouth as the Black Cats look to register a first league win of the campaign.
Back-to-back league draws have proven a source of frustration, and McNulty is well-aware that fans may grow restless should Sunderland fall behind.
But the loan striker believes such pressure from the home faithful should act as a source of motivation and keep the players ‘on their toes’ ahead of a tough assignment.
“That's a good thing for me, playing for a big club,” he admitted.
“You get the best of both worlds. Sometimes you need that little kick up the backside and you know the fans are going to be unhappy, so it keeps you on your toes. You don't want to make mistakes and you're focused.
“For me, it brings out the best in me and I think it does the same for a lot of the boys. That's why the manager brought them here.
“For me, I've been there before where it's massive crowds, it's edgy and they're on you,” he continued.
“But as a player that's why you love to play football, to play in a packed stadium - and you don't mind the odd bit of abuse from a fan!
“Like I say, it keeps you on your toes.
“The boys like that, it makes a bit of an atmosphere and brings out the best in players.”
The visit of Pompey sees McNulty face-off against one of his former clubs.
And while he has fond memories of his spell on the south coast, the 26-year-old’s focus is now solely on Sunderland.
"I spent a bit of time down there on loan,” he explained.
“I enjoyed myself down there, did pretty good and scored some goals.
“I know what's going to be coming.
“I heard there was a little bit between the two clubs last year so that gives it a little bit more tastiness for the weekend. It's a game I'm looking forward to.”