DICK ADVOCAAT toasted Danny Graham’s contribution to Sunderland’s win over Southampton, which keeps alive the Black Cats’ hopes of beating the drop.
Sunderland remained in the relegation zone after a 2-1 victory against the Saints, yet a sixth Premier League success of the campaign ensured Advocaat’s side remain in contention with the teams above them, with just two points separating five sides.
Striker Graham - handed his first start under Advocaat - had a hand in winning both of the penalties which were converted by Jordi Gomez, with his contribution recognised by the Sunderland supporters at the final whistle.
And while Graham remains without a first Sunderland goal to his name, head coach Advocaat says the £5million man’s all-round contribution has to be recognised.
“Like the other players, he works so hard and he was dangerous when he got the ball,” said Advocaat.
“He protected it well and the other players could do something with what he did.
“That’s why we created something.
“We had four or five possibilities against a team who is defensively very strong.
“I was hoping he was capable of those sort of performances and he did that.”
Meanwhile, Advocaat confirmed that skipper John O’Shea came off in the first half with both a rib injury and concussion after a couple of hefty challenges.
It ended O’Shea’s record of being the only Premier League player this season to have completed every minute of every game.