'The Sunderland fans were not getting new news there from Darron' - Niall Quinn on Gibson's drunken rant
Former Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has said that Ireland international Darron Gibson was 'silly' to question other player's passion for the club after Sunderland were defeated 5-0 by Scottish Premiership champions Celtic last month.
Just hours after the Cetlic defeat, Gibson was filmed criticising teammates Lamine Kone, Wahbi Khazri and Jeremain Lens.
Repeating one fan's assessment, he said "we're f***ing s***" and even suggested "there are too many people at the club who don't give a f***".
Gibson was given a reprieve last week by Sunderland manager Simon Grayson following his indiscretion, but Quinn, who served as Sunderland chairman between 2006 and 2011, said that Gibson was silly to do what he did but that he wasn't necessarily wrong, with the former Ireland international surmising that Gibson was merely highlighting what a lot of Sunderland fans had already thought of some players before last Friday's championship opener against Derby.
"He's been a silly lad to do what he did," Quinn told Independent.ie.
"He can feel what he feels, but there's a time and a place to do that. If you wanted to go public on it you do it after training, not in a pub after you've been hammered 5-0.
"There's very little sympathy out there for him and it's a shame because I like Darron. I've very fond memories of Darron because when I was chairman of Sunderland, Man United needed to beat Hull on the last day for us to stay up, and Darron Gibson put one in from about 35 yards, so Sunderland fans should remember that every time they're going to give him stick.
"This is another setback but I think the quicker he gets on the pitch and gets a goal, or something that sort of re-evaluates his whole Sunderland being, that will be great for him."
He continued: "But going back to the thing about the passion, he called out the passion of some of the players, I think that's shocking in some ways but not a surprise as a stock answer to give when you're out for a drink and you're just saying what everyone else has been saying anyway.
"The Sunderland fans aren't fools but they're not getting new news there from Darron. It's just shocking the way it is because of the fact he's in the dressing room.
"But [the fans] they can see for themselves what's missing and you look at players, who at times, when Sam Allardyce was there, these players look a million dollars, but then you see them under David Moyes not have the same commitment, the same passion, but they've got to forget about all that now and just build on what happened the other night."
Sunderland began their Championship campaign last Friday evening with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Derby County at the Stadium of Light.
The newly-relegated Black Cats were served a stark reminder of the task that awaits them this season, as it took Gary Rowett's Rams just 12 minutes to grab the lead, before Lewis Grabban struck from the penalty to save Sunderland from opening-night defeat.
Quinn said that he was happy to see a renewed tenacity from the Sunderland players against Derby and that Sunderland fans just want to see pride and passion from their players.
"First of all I was happy to see the spirit that the team showed," added Quinn.
"I enjoyed that they had a go, because you couldn't say that all the time last year. They looked a bit frightened last year, as if they knew their fate before they had even stepped over the line.
"Too often they dipped into this area where they lacked belief but one thing I saw with Simon Grayson's charges the other night was that there was a tenacity about them, they got after the ball, they attacked, they wanted it.
"I'm blue in the face from saying it, but Sunderland fans want to see heart. They want to see passion. They want to see people work and show pride in the jersey to earn plaudits from the fans, and if that happens, it's a great place to be."
Irish football heroes, Niall Quinn, Shay Given and Jason McAteer were in Dublin to officially launch Cadbury’s brand new partnership with the Premier League, to become their ‘Official Snack Partner’.