SUNDERLAND defender Wes Brown believes a surge of confidence is responsible for the club’s recent run of good form following their 2-0 win over Swansea City.
The Black Cats have only tasted defeat twice since Martin O’Neill was appointed manager with a number of wins propelling them away from just above the relegation zone to tenth spot as well as the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Such form was non-existent during the back end of previous boss Steve Bruce’s reign, even though the squad O’Neill is getting results from is the same his predecessor had to work with – which Brown acknowledges.
He said: “We are the same players as Steve Bruce had. Confidence was low and we were not winning too many games and you can get down a little bit because of that.
“We just needed a lift. Steve Bruce was a great manager and he was very unlucky. The team is the same, but it was just that little bit of confidence and we could have been up and running.
“That is maybe the type of game we would have lost two months ago. The lads now have a good few wins under our belt.
“We have won five out of eight, so even when there was a lot of pressure on us here we were defending well and making it difficult for Swansea who are good at keeping the ball. At times we broke better and maybe had the better chances.
“We watched Swansea on the tapes and they keep the ball very well and credit to them where it is due.
“We pressed at times and won the ball back, but that was basically our plan.
“Once we got to our own half we all got together and blocked it up and tried to counter-attack.
“When you get the ball it was time to break and we did that well, but we all had to go together which we did.”
Meanwhile, Brown offered words of support for goal hero Craig Gardner.
The midfielder has not been starting of late and is believed to be wanting a move away from the club, but Brown insist he is fine and does not feel his team-mate is going anywhere.
As for the player’s wonder-goal against Swansea, it was just a case of doing what he does in training.
Brown added: “Craig is all right. Don't get me wrong, every player wants to start and he probably has not started as many as he wanted. He will be fine. He is not going anywhere.
“He is a great player, he scores goals like that all the time in training. That is the sort of player he is.
“Craig has great technique and a great shot with both feet. He scored a great one at Wigan too. He is always pinging them in during training.”