JACK RODWELL is delighted to have provided instant payback on Sunderland’s £10million summer investment.
Rodwell marked his Stadium of Light bow by netting the equaliser in yesterday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United, as the Black Cats made it two draws in two games to start the Premier League season.
The 23-year-old became the most expensive midfielder in Sunderland’s history when the club splashed out £10m to bring the England international from Manchester City earlier this month.
And Rodwell could not contain his pleasure at converting Seb Larsson’s corner, especially in front of a home crowd.
He told the Echo: “You definitely want to make an early impression with a new club and that’s what I did.
“Hopefully now I can get better and better every week and that’s the plan really.
“I managed to lose my man and then it’s just about making good contact and hoping it goes in the back of the net.
“In front of the home supporters, it doesn’t come much better.
“It meant a lot to me, especially in front of the home fans.”
Rodwell undoubtedly made more of an impact than on his competitive debut against West Brom eight days earlier – a game which was his first Premier League start in 11 months.
“I felt a bit sharper yesterday,” he said.
“West Brom was my first game in a long, long time and I felt a bit off the pace.
“But I felt fitter and hopefully that will be the same again next week, and I can maybe get a full 90.
“It’s been a long time since I started a Premier League game and I missed a lot of pre-season, and that takes its toll a little bit.
“My body was feeling it, but I gave as much as I could. I felt I could carry on, but the manager brought me off and hopefully next week, I can give a bit more.”
Rodwell’s goal deservedly levelled proceedings for Sunderland after Juan Mata had given Manchester United an early lead against the run of play.
But, despite the holes in a fragile United defence, Sunderland struggled to create the chances to get a first win of the campaign, although Rodwell did not begrudge another point on the board.
“We could have nicked it, but I think we would have taken a draw,” he added.
“When you come back in after the game, you think that was there to be won.
“But I think, at the beginning of the game, you would probably have taken a point.
“Obviously, you want three points, but United are always a tough team.
“They were a lot better in the second half and started playing a bit towards the last 10 minutes.
“I was saying from the bench to see the game out.”