Martin O'Neill

MON's deadline deal delight

by Stuart Vose

Boss aiming to lighten load on Fletcher.

Martin O’Neill has spoken of his delight at securing the signature of Danny Graham.

The Sunderland boss made a deadline-day swoop to snare the striker, with the Black Cats paying Swansea a £5m fee to acquire his services.

Graham finished as City top scorer with 14 goals last season and added a further seven under Michael Laudrup during the current campaign.

I think Danny can fit in and score a few goals for us

- Martin O'Neill

“Danny will work hard for the team and did very well at Swansea, where he had a good season last year," O'Neill told

“We’re delighted to have Danny and I genuinely think he’ll do well for us. He has a real desire to do well.

“I saw him from afar last season when he played very well in a system which seemed to suit him.”

O’Neill targeted a striker as a priority and says his new signing has a vital role to play in taking the scoring load off 10-goal leading marksman Steven Fletcher.

“I think Danny can fit in and score a few goals for us,” he said.

“We want to be less reliant on Steven Fletcher scoring the goals. I think Danny will alleviate the load; that’s my expectation and I think he feels the same.”

And O’Neill has dropped a hint that Fletcher and Graham may combine, although the Sunderland chief was keeping his cards close to his chest.

 “I’ve got a fairly decent idea in my head about how we’ll use Danny,” he revealed.

“As the players get to know him and he gets to know them, there’ll be a number of formations we’ll be able to use.”