DAVID Vaughan insists Sunderland must not rest on their laurels after a winning start to the Martin O’Neill era.
The Black Cats kicked off life under their new manager with a last-gasp victory over Blackburn Rovers at the Stadium of Light on Sunday. That win, Vaughan believes, proves the club’s Premier League pedigree.
However, wary of getting carried away by one result, the Welshman – whose side face a daunting trip to fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur this coming Sunday – says it must only be the start to a sustained recovery in Sunderland’s fortunes.
Vaughan, whose equalising goal sparked Sunday’s revival, said: “Tottenham away is not going to be easy.
“The pressure is off and we have shown we have enough quality in the squad to deliver in the Premier League.
“We should have greater confidence now, which is why it was important for us to beat Blackburn before we went to Tottenham.
“We have climbed out of the bottom three but that has to be just the start.
“We cannot just rest on our laurels and we have to keep going, particularly at home, and climb up the table to where we want to be.”
Former Crewe Alexandra, Real Sociedad and Blackpool midfielder Vaughan arrived on Wearside during the summer, one of several new faces signed by previous manager Steve Bruce.
Following the weekend’s win, the 28-year-old has been quick to praise two of his fellow new
arrivals – Keiren Westwood and James McClean. “Keiren has been brilliant, he’s come in and really shown what he is all about,” Vaughan (pictured left) said. “He is a commanding goalkeeper and has taken his chance well.
“There have been some real moments of magic, some great saves, and to come in at Old Trafford for a full debut cannot have been easy.
“Keiren has handled everything really well.
“Like me, he has had to wait for his chance but his patience has paid off.”
Of McClean, Vaughan added: “He came in the summer and took time to adapt to training and the pace of the game, but he has done really well and hopefully it will continue.
“He is a very direct, old-school winger, and that was what we needed. We needed a wide-left player to get balls in to the box.”
With his stunning strike against Rovers, Vaughan made quite an impression as well, drawing praise – along with Connor Wickham, who started in place of the injured Nicklas Bendtner – from O’Neill.
He said: “David Vaughan’s goal was brilliant, and I thought he played great.
“I have not seen all of the games on the DVD just yet, but I like Vaughan as a player.
“He is pretty quiet, but he is a lovely footballer who has scored a fantastic goal.
“Connor Wickham has only trained for two days out of the last five weeks, and I thought he did great for us considering that.
“Bendtner had not trained all week and was not fit to play.
“Connor is only 18 and hopefully has a proper career in front of him, but he was as willing as the day is long.
“I thought he was out on his feet, to tell you the truth, but it was a brilliant effort.”
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