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Mannone's 'dream' start

VITO Mannone is determined not to waste of minute of his career after making a dream start to life at Sunderland.

The 25-year-old 'keeper has been a key figure in the Gus Poyet-inspired revival which has seen the Black Cats reach the League Cup final and drag themselves out of the Premier League relegation zone for the first time since August, courtesy of Wednesday night's 1-0 win over Stoke.

Mannone is relishing the opportunity to show what he can do having managed just 26 appearances in eight years at Arsenal. He said: "It's something unbelievable, it's like a dream.

"I suffered a lot in the past (at Arsenal), if I'm honest. I expected my chance for a long time there, but they never really gave me a real chance.

"Finally, I got my chance at Sunderland and I don't want to waste a minute.

"I'm loving every minute of every game and when I can perform, I will do my best to help the team and to give something back to the fans, who have been incredible.

"It's great to hear them singing my name," the goalkeeper said.