SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Solid Simpson, Keane urges blitz

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.


... and new boy will go on the attack!

NEW SIGNING Danny Simpson will be hungry to succeed at Sunderland, after fearing his season would fade away.

Right-back Simpson is big mates with fellow Manchester United product Jonny Evans, who is also on loan at the Stadium of Light for the rest of the season.

And Evans revealed that his friend had recently confided that he felt he was destined for months in the reserves after returning from a year on loan at United’s feeder club Royal Antwerp.

The centre-back said: “I know Danny really well. We’ve played together for United since we were 12 and we lived together for five months at the end of last year when we were both at Antwerp.

“We spoke last week and he said that he wanted to get out on loan if possible because there were plenty of fit players at United and he didn’t think he’d get much of a chance other than the reserves.

“Then he phoned me the other day to say Sunderland had been in and I was telling him what it was like up her.

“I told him about us taking 6,000 fans to Sheffield Wednesday last weekend and that I’ve enjoyed it here.”

Simpson trained with Sunderland for the first time today and will be considered for Tuesday’s home game against Crystal Palace.

His arrival could release Dean Whitehead – who has performed admirably as a stand-in right back – for a return to midfield.

Evans said: “Danny will never let you down. He’s a really honest lad, quick, good on the ball and quite strong.”

“I’ve not seen a winger get past him. Defensively, he’s a natural, but he likes to get forward. When we were at Antwerp he was complaining because a lot of teams over there play three up front and he had to stay back a lot.

“In this league, he’ll be able to get forward a lot and will relish it.

“As players, we’re both competitive and will often have a go at each other on the pitch, but of the pitch we’re great mates.”

Having failed to lure Phil Bardsley from Old Trafford – he went on loan to Aston Villa – Keane returned to his old club for Simpson this week but won’t be able to make another Red Devil capture because league rules limit signings to two from any one club.


Boss demands no more slips

A FULL week after he raged at his team for letting a three-goal lead slip at Sheffield Wednesday, Roy Keane says he’s still annoyed at his players’ performance.

And he has warned that further slips like that could prove costly as clubs head towards the promotion run-in.

Sunderland were 3-0 up and cruising going into the final 10 minutes of last week’s game but they got a scare when Wednesday pulled two goals back, only for the Black Cats to grab a fourth two minutes from time to make the points safe.

And Keane is determined that they will not get complacent again in the weeks ahead. He said: “I was very disappointed by the Sheffield Wednesday game and I still am.

“I watched it again and while I was happy with the result and the four goals. I wasn’t happy with the performance itself.

“And, having seen the game again, I was 100 per cent to be as angry as I was.”

Sunderland were denied sixth spot only by the goal difference caused by the goals they conceded in the Wednesday game.

And, with six of the seven games above Sunderland having substantially better goal difference, the Black Cats are now on a goals charge as well as points push. Keane said: “The goal difference could come back to haunt us at the end of the season, not just in the Wednesday game, but in others where we haven’t really made our authority count.

“We should have taken our chances in other games, Leicester City for example a few weeks ago, and there have been others where we really should have got one or two more goals.

“If you’d asked me at the start of the day would I have settled for a 4-2 win, then the answer would have been yes. But I just hope that the players don’t underestimate what they are capable of doing.

“Sometimes that’s the biggest danger for any team, that they take their foot off the gas in the way that we did last weekend. We nearly got punished for it.

“But we got away with it and hopefully we’ve learned a lesson.”