Fabio Borini says Sunderland’s players can take pride in their achievement after helping the club pull off a memorable escape act.
Liverpool striker Borini spent the season on loan with the Wearsiders and scored 10 goals in all competitions, including four goals in the final five games of the campaign as the Black Cats secured their place in the Premier League.
Sunderland were bottom of the table and seven points from safety with six games remaining, but went on to take 13 points from their next five matches to make certain of survival with a game to spare.
What made Sunderland’s run all the more remarkable was that it included unlikely wins at Chelsea and Manchester United, as well as a draw at eventual champions Manchester City.
“I think it was an unbelievable run and a fantastic achievement,” said Borini.
“It’s something that will always be remembered and something that should be thought about whenever you find yourself in a difficult situation, and believe that you can achieve what you want to achieve.”
Borini scored the winning goal against his old club Chelsea which began the four-game winning streak that propelled Sunderland to safety, and a 14th place finish.
And his goals home and away in derby victories over Newcastle United, along with his strike in the Capital One Cup final against Man City at Wembley, saw Borini become a firm favourite with the Sunderland fans. Borini said: “I’ve enjoyed every day of this season, the fans have been a big part of that. I hope I’ve paid back their support with my performances because at times they’ve left me speechless.
“It’s been such a memorable season.
“For me the derbies stand out.
“I’ve never played in games like them for the atmosphere and the passion of the fans – to score in both was good for me.
“And scoring at Wembley is another highlight for me, as you would expect.
“But I think what the team achieved at the end of the season was truly amazing.”
Borini returned to his parent club Liverpool as soon as the season ended last weekend, and marked his arrival by scoring for the Reds in an end-of-season friendly against Shamrock Rovers in midweek.
But Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet would like the 23-year-old to come back to the Stadium of Light next season, either on loan or on a permanent basis.
The ball is firmly in Liverpool’s court, however, and it remains to be seen whether Borini’s form at Sunderland will have convinced Rodgers that he has a part to play on Merseyside next term.
He has also been linked with a move back to his homeland, although Poyet will be hoping that if Borini does leave Liverpool, he will at least consider a move to Wearside.