Martin Smith

Smith Says...

by Martin Smith

'Son of Pele' pens latest column.

Former Sunderland striker Martin Smith presents his latest column...

What a win last week. It was very enjoyable and to be honest it was tears in your eyes time.

We played very well and Vaughany’s goal at the end just rounded it off.

From early on you sensed we were really up for it – we got in Newcastle’s faces straight away and the team performance epitomised what the manager was doing on the touchline.

I can’t think of anyone who had a bad game and you could have picked four or five men of the match.

There often seems to be a ‘new manager effect’ when someone comes in, and that due to a combination of things.

It’s a fresh face, fresh ideas and players who haven’t been playing will think they have a chance and need to take it.

Paolo has brought a couple of youngsters into the squad and it’s great to see the likes of Mika Mandron and Jordan Laidler up there.

It all helps them, from being involved in training to the build-up to the game. It gives them a great taste of what first-team life is all about.

I watch the youth team regularly and Mika has some promise about him. It’s important not to put too much pressure on him because he is still very young, but there’s things in his play which suggest he could make himself into a good player.

There’s quite a few other talented youngsters down there too.

Paolo has spoken about keeping the players focused and he’ll be looking to follow up in front of a big crowd at home on Saturday.

Three points would make the games to come a little more comfortable. We should go into the game with confidence, but it’s not going to be easy.