Mikael Mandron

Mandron proud of late winner

by Ashley Houghton

Striker dedicates winning strike to teammates.

Sunderland striker Mikael Mandron dedicated his winning goal in Monday’s night’s 3-2 victory over Leicester City to his development squad teammates.

Mandron secured all three points with a 91st-minute effort to spark wild celebrations amongst the under-21 side.

And he told safc.com after the game that he was delighted to notch the winning goal.

“It feels great,” Mandron said. “It was my first 90 minutes of the season and it was just great to be with the lads; I think we worked so hard for the win at the end – it’s just amazing.

“Those are the lads I was playing with before and without them I wouldn’t have been in the first team so it’s great to be back with them and playing with them.”

Mandron’s first game for the development squad came after he joined in the first team’s pre-season training trips to both Hong Kong and Italy.

And the young striker says he is reaping the benefits from a summer under the stewardship of Paolo Di Canio.

“I do feel fit having been with the first team,” he continued. “I don’t find it easier but I’m more comfortable physically and technically because it’s faster with the first team.”

The French-born striker was also quick to praise the development squad’s work ethic as the youngsters dug deep to score twice in the final five minutes.

“I think it just showed all the hard work that the lads put in during pre-season,” he added.

“It’s paying off now and hopefully we’re just going to keep going for the rest of the season.”