Darron Gibson plans to play through the pain against Barnsley as he continues an unlikely revival of his Sunderland career.
Gibson has been carrying a groin injury but with Chris Coleman desperately short on players and holding midfielders specifically, the Irishman has battled through and completed 90 minutes of the 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
The 30-year-old was superb again, reborn under Coleman’s management and arguably one of the first names on the team sheet at present.
Gibson admits the new manager’s philosophy is perfectly tailored for his style and while he will be assessed ahead of today’s 3pm kick-off, he hopes to pick up where he left off.
He said: “I’ll be all right. I’ll do my best to get through it.
“The whole squad’s in the same position. It’s tough to play basically two games in two days but we knew it was coming, we knew the schedule was tough and it’s the same for everyone.
“We just have to get on with it.
“The way the gaffer wants to play suits me down to the ground,” he added.
“He wants to pass the ball and he wants the midfielders to try and get on the ball and use it so it suits me.
“I’m enjoying it at the minute.”
Gibson was pleased with the response of his team-mates after a galling 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United on Boxing Day.
Sunderland had just one shot in the game but Gibson felt they were always comfortable and was pleased with the reaction from the team.
He said: “I think we all know as a group Tuesday wasn’t good enough. We needed a reaction and I think we showed that.
“In the first half I thought we were very good on the ball and defensively. In the second half I thought we probably dropped a little bit deeper but I think overall we deserved the win.
“We were too soft [at Sheffield],” he added.
“We went behind and we didn’t really react after that. We conceded two more sloppy goals. The manager said a few harsh words after the game and he looked for a reaction. I think he got it.
“From the start we were very good – comfortable on the ball, defended well. It was exactly what we needed to do.”
“Every game’s nerve-wracking when you’re in the position we are.
“Sometimes when you go in front you get a bit nervous and you start to drop deep, which we did. But I think we defended a lot better than on Tuesday.
“They hit the post towards the end and they had a couple of half-chances but apart from that we were comfortable defending, we looked comfortable in our own box.
“They had a lot of ball wide in the second half but we were comfortable.”
Gibson had special praise for the away support who travelled in numbers and sold out the club’s allocation, before celebrating wildly at the final whistle.
He said: “They deserve it. They travel everywhere with us and get behind us. It’s tough for them but they go home happy.
“A win’s nice for everyone. Let’s hope we can kick on and get another win (today).”