JOHN O'SHEA's manager at international level may be currently involved in a regular slanging match with his predecessor at Sunderland, but in the middle of all that the Waterford man reckons that his present boss at the club, Gus Poyet, is starting to make a real impact.
O'Shea returns to club duties this weekend having featured for Ireland in the friendly games against Latvia and Poland and while he admits it has been a tumultuous time at the Stadium of Light this year, with the exits of Martin O'Neill and Paolo di Canio and their subsequent war of words, he is enjoying life under Poyet. "The manager is slowly but surely getting his message across to the lads, which is obviously not going to happen instantly because the lads have had so much in their heads," said O'Shea.
"The gaffer and his coaching team have been fantastic in just sticking to their guns in terms of how they want us to play. It will take a bit of time but hopefully you saw glimpses, against Southampton in particular, in terms of trying to keep the ball that bit more and make teams work harder to get the ball from us. It has been interesting to say the least but it's the classic cliché – nothing surprises you in football, even here.
"You are trying to get the first couple of wins and then it wasn't coming, then the change of manager and you just hope everything settles down and you can concentrate on winning football matches.
"There are different players playing and tactics it is not that you can't do it but it is about becoming accustomed to teams playing in a certain way. It does not just happen overnight, it has taken a bit of time and consistency to do that."