MARCOS Alonso says he is loving life at Sunderland and says he is certain the club has the players to escape from the bottom three over the next few months.
The on-loan Fiorentina left-back has been at the club little more than a couple of weeks but the January transfer window signing says he has seen enough to know that the Black Cats’ squad is not a relegation one.
Evidence of that has been offered in the first two games he has been involved in - the 2-1 Capital One Cup semi-final victory over Manchester United and the 4-1 demolition of Fulham.
At Craven Cottage, hat-trick hero Adam Johnson was the star of the show, and Alonso feels that talk of the ex-Manchester City winger regaining his England place should be taken seriously.
“Adam is a great player,” said the 23-year-old. “We have seen him do magic things at Manchester City.
“At Sunderland it has not gone so well for him I understand, but he’s still that great player and it is just a question of getting the most out of him.
“If we get Adam Johnson right though, we will get one of the best players in the Premier League.
“I don’t see any reason why people should not talk about him for England again if he keeps playing like this.
“We have seen Theo Walcott this month and how unlucky he has been with the injury which means he misses the World Cup.
“And if Johnson keeps playing consistently well then of course he can make the plane to Brazil, especially with Walcott out.”
Alonso was at Bolton when the Trotters were relegated by a single point in the 2011-12 season on the last day of the campaign.
But he says Sunderland are an improving side that does not have a relegation feel to it.
And he is thrilled to playing along the club’s former Manchester United centre-halves John O’Shea and Wes Brown.
“It is a pleasure to play with players of the experience of John and Wes because they have seen it all and I can learn a lot from playing with them.
“They know exactly how they should react in any situation and they work and support you throughout the game.
“It’s also a pleasure to play with Vito Mannone, who looks so solid in goal.
“We wanted to be strong defensively and I think we have been defending better generally.
“We conceded a silly goal against Fulham but there have not been too many of them recently and we have just to keep it going.”
Alonso is on loan at Sunderland until the end of the season but say he is open-minded about what the future holds.
“I’ve got three years remaining on my current contract,” he pointed out. “But I’m enjoying my time here at Sunderland and we’ll just have to see.
“For the moment I have a job to do here at Sunderland and that is all I’m interested in focusing on.”