O’Neill signings will rejuvenate Sunderland, says Turner

Michael Turner
Michael Turner
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MICHAEL Turner is confident Martin O’Neill’s summer spending spree will rejuvenate the feelgood factor on Wearside after the tepid conclusion to the campaign continued.

Sunderland’s winless run extended to six games on Saturday after a brace from January transfer target Kevin Davies earned third bottom Bolton a 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light.

Davies could well be one of those on O’Neill’s radar again this summer, with the Black Cats boss coy in his post-match comments on the 35-year-old.

Centre-half Turner expects Sunderland to be active in the transfer market, with on-loan duo Wayne Bridge and Sotirios Kyrgiakos the sole arrivals during O’Neill’s tenure at the club.

But Turner stressed that Sunderland still need to focus on providing some cheer from the remaining two games of this season – starting with Sunday’s trip to mid-table peers Fulham - after taking just three points from strugglers Wolves, Aston Villa and Bolton.

Turner told the Echo: “I’m sure the manager will bring in a few players that will excite the fans.

“He’s only brought two players in on loan so I’m sure he’ll look to bring in players during the summer. But there’s still two games in this campaign and we need to finish the season right.

“We would have hoped for more from the last three games. They’re ones we should have been winning. The tally we’ve picked up during this period is disappointing.

“The season’s petering out, but we still want to finish as high up as possible. We don’t want to count down the minutes until another game is out the way. It’s important we perform well and if we do that, we should win some games.

“Fulham have had some great results at home and they’ve got some great players. We know we’ll need to play well next weekend.”

Sunderland provided some solace on Saturday after ending their goal drought of more than six hours as strikes from Nicklas Bendtner and James McClean cancelled out Davies’ opener.

But the England international lost the attention of Matt Kilgallon to head home an equaliser with 20 minutes to go after Sunderland had looked in control.

“At least we’ve started scoring again and two goals at home should be enough really,” added Turner. “Seb (Larsson) not being there gave James the opportunity to take a free-kick and showed what he’s all about.

“We didn’t start the game well and it was disappointing to go behind. Passes were going astray and we couldn’t hold the ball up.

“But there was a point in the first half after we scored when we got on the front foot again and could have scored a few more.

“We went ahead in the second half and looked in control, but then we conceded a poor equaliser. Maybe we could have pushed up a bit more as a back four.

“It was a great ball in to be fair and it’s a difficult one to defend, particularly when Davies is all over you.”