O'Neill: 'We won the game convincingly'
Martin O'Neill had every right to laud his side's victory last night as Sunderland cruised to a 3-0 victory over Reading.
The winless Royals started the night in 19th, a place and four points behind the Black Cats who had slipped into the relegation zone following Saturday's 3-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea.
However, on the night the nerves were settled early on when James McClean crashed home a third minute opener, drilling low into the bottom corner on the turn.
Steven Fletcher doubled that lead just before the half-hour mark when he cleverley back-heeled Danny Rose's inch-perfect centre past Adam Federici.
With the Lads running out comfortable winners, Stephane Sessegnon outmuscled a Royals' defender before rounding Federici to finish coolly.
The win, Sunderland's first since beating Fulham in November, lifts the Black Cats up to 15th, three places and a point above the drop zone.
Speaking afterwards to safc.com, O'Neill acknowledged the impact of McClean's third-minute opener:
"It was great to score early," stated O'Neill.
"The early goal was very important because recently we`ve been chasing games and sometimes we`ve given ourselves mountains to climb.'
The Ulsterman then praised the performance of his fellow countryman and goalscorer, McClean: "I thought there were signs that James [McClean] is returning to the form we`ve seen from him before."
MON also singled out Sessegnon for special praise after his third goal of the season wrappd up proceedings:
"In terms of the scoreline Sessegnon`s goal made it a fantastic win.
"That goal will be a boost to his confidence. He also showed signs of returning to that form he has previously showed."
Sunderland head to Manchester United this Saturday.