Soton v SAFC

Support was phenomenal - MON

by Kate Smith

Manager delighted with away day victory.

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill heaped praise on his side after watching them claim a vital win over Southampton at St Mary's. 

I’m absolutely thrilled for the team and for the supporters.

- Martin O'Neill

The Black Cats boss also took a moment to pay tribute to the 2,000 travelling fans who made the 700 mile round trip to the south coast to back their team.

O'Neill revealed: "I’m absolutely thrilled for the team and for the supporters.

"The amount of fans that followed us down was absolutely phenomenal, especially when it’s only three days until Christmas.

"They epitomise the football club and it was important for us to get the win for them today."

Steven Fletcher bagged his eighth goal of the season on three minutes before half time and that was enough to seal a hard fought win for the Wearsiders.

"It  was a big performance from us today and we got our goal at a very important time." O'Neill continued.

"We weathered the storm when Southampton put us under pressure in the second half and we did well on what was a difficult afternoon.

"We had to make a few changes to the team after last week and I thought the two centre backs were outstanding."

The manager added: "[Steven] Fletcher has scored a lot of goals for us this season, and all of them have been important ones. He was great again today.

"Fraizer Campbell, who did tremendously when he came on, popped up with a great block late in the second half and I think that really typified our performance today. "