MARTIN O’Neill is backing Danny Graham to help solve Sunderland’s goalscoring problems.
The former Swansea striker has had a steady start to his Black Cats career but has yet to score in the five games he has been involved in so far and missed a good chance against Fulham at the weekend.
But the Sunderland manager has every faith that the 27-year-old frontman will come good.
“I think Danny can score goals and will score goals,” O’Neill told the Echo. He’s shown that with the teams he has been involved with throughout his career, not to mention Swansea of late.”
The Black Cats boss has been at pains to point out that the £5m January transfer window signing is still finding his full match sharpness after being used sparingly by the Swans in the months before his arrival on Wearside. And he believes that patience is all that is required from the Sunderland faithful.
“We have to give him a chance,” he said. “West Bromwich Albion was his first start just the other week and I’ve got no doubt he’ll be fine but it is a matter of finding his feet.
“I think people might rush to judgment because he hasn’t got a win or a goal attached to his name yet. But he will be fine and we have to put it right.”
Sunderland have played with two strikers for their last two games with Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham paired up front against West Brom and Fulham and Stephane Sessegnon switched to the wing, where he has shone.
And O’Neill accepts that while bedding in his new strike-force has not been an instant success, Sessegnon’s sparkling form of late has at least given everyone something to cheer.
He said; “Stephane has been great. He’s looked very lively and I think when he’s in that sort of form not only is he elusive, but he’s hard to contain.
“It’s quite possible that Stephane’s strength could well be coming in off the flanks. I don’t mind playing him off the centre-forward.
“But if we are trying to accommodate another striker in the set-up, then I think the ideal place for Stephane is coming in off the wing.”