Sunderland AFC news: Niall Quinn lifts lid on James McClean signing, Jordan Pickford on England call

David Moyes
David Moyes
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Former Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has lifted the lid on the signing of James McClean.

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The former Sunderland striker and chairman lifted the lid on the day the Black Cats signed the winger who can excite and cause controversy in equal measures.

Quinn said the arrival of McClean at the Stadium of Light came at the suggestion of Wearside goal legend Bryan 'Pop' Robson - on his first day as chief scout after leaving Chelsea to return to the North-East.

"Pop said 'Listen, there is a bargain out there that we were recommended to come and watch when I was at Chelsea'," said Quinn.

"It was a lad called James McClean at Derry City. Given the structure at Chelsea and James's age, Chelsea had decided not to pursue the transfer.

"There were a few other clubs looking at James that summer including Everton.

"Steve Bruce and I had never heard of James McClean, let alone seen him play, but it was Pop Robson's first day on the job, he was enthusiastic and it didn't seem like the time to knock him back.

"By the way, Pop also told us to sign a certain guy named Michu on that first day. Swansea fans will not be alone in remembering the 20-goal debut season that followed, but Steve and I chose James."
Meanwhile, Sunderland have a "tough" run of games ahead of them but Billy Jones is confident team spirit and resilience will see them through.

"It’s going to be a tough little phase but you look at these games and you have to try and come up with a target and that will be our aim," said Jones.

"We just need to show the same consistency and resilience from the back end of last season and I’m sure we will be fine."

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And finally, David Moyes will always tell it as it is – no matter what the situation is at Sunderland.

The 53-year-old, who will this week take the Black Cats to Stoke City for a vital Premier League showdown, says he will not alter his style.

"I could come out and be singing and dancing and say all good things, but the truth is I haven’t had many positive things to talk about. That is a fact," said Moyes.

"I would rather come out and tell the truth. I would rather not kid the supporters.

"Sunderland supporters are knowledgeable and have been brought up with really good football through their grandfathers and their fathers and the history at the club."