Saturday 16 December 2017

Quinn refusing to splash cash

Sunderland 1 Aston Villa 0

Rob Stewart

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn will not get carried away when the transfer window reopens in January, despite the club being tipped to mount a challenge for European football.

His team may have moved up to the giddy heights of seventh thanks to Richard Dunne's own-goal but Quinn, who runs the club for Irish-American owner Ellis Short, remains cautious.

"A couple of years ago people in Portsmouth were skipping down the street after they won the FA Cup but all that has fallen away," said Quinn, who sanctioned a club-record £13m signing of Asamoah Gyan two months ago.

"When you see what can happen -- even at a club like Liverpool -- it makes it all the more important that clubs are careful and do things properly," said Quinn. "Never has that been truer than in the current economy."

Sunderland head into next Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby at Newcastle on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run.

"There is a positive atmosphere around the club and the city because of the understanding a team is being built here," Quinn added. "Football clubs travel through phases and we are putting down solid foundations on and off the pitch."

Villa's winger Stewart Downing believes Quinn holds the key to a continental adventure. "Sunderland will be one of those teams pushing Villa for a Europa League spot," Downing said. "They have a decent manager and have bought well.

"They're going to be a real threat, especially if they strengthen again in the New Year. It was frustrating for us with too many shots going wide and crosses drifting out."

There was more gloom for Villa with news that captain Stiliyan Petrov could be out of action for up to three weeks after going off with a knee injury.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce was in high spirits after the match.

Even an injury to their on-loan winger Ahmed Elmohamady, who limped off in the dying moments, failed to stop him poking fun at the brief appearance of an streaker wearing a pink body-stocking during the match.

He said: "It was the worst streaker I've ever seen -- he had the worst gear ever." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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