Sess thrilled by O’Neill’s winning formula

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Stephane Sessegnon admits it’s a refreshing turnaround to be playing for a Sunderland side in the ascendancy after a tough opening 12 months on Wearside, writes Chris Young.

Sessegnon grabbed the third goal in Sunderland’s 4-1 rout at Wigan Athletic last night as the Black Cats moved into the top half of the Premier League table thanks to their first back-to-back victories in a year.

The Benin international, signed from Paris St Germain last January, experienced a difficult start to his Sunderland career after waiting three months to finish on a winning Premier League side – savouring just five victories in 27 games prior to the arrival of Martin O’Neill.

While Sessegnon sounded a word of warning about Sunderland’s meteoric transformation, the 27-year-old insists he is enjoying life in O’Neill’s buoyant outfit, with the new Black Cats boss earning 13 points from his six games in charge.

Sessegnon told the Echo: “The winning feeling is something different because at the start it was quite difficult. For the first few months, confidence was low in the team and we struggled to win many games.

“I didn’t think I had many chances to play to my maximum, which you want to do when you’re a new player.

“It’s a lot more satisfying now to be getting some results and long may it continue.

“There’s a big difference over six games.

“People were asking questions of us before the arrival of a new manager, but you can see the confidence difference in us now.

“He’s given us a lot of motivation and changed the mentality. We’ve worked hard and we always knew there was a lot of quality in the side.

“But it’s not finished yet.

“You don’t get anything for being in 10th spot at the midway point of the season. We need to be there at the end.”

* Full story in today’s Sunderland Echo