John Egan

Egan praises 'composed' showing

by Stuart Vose

Development squad skipper reviews 5-1 win at Arsenal.

Development squad captain John Egan praised the team effort as the young Black Cats ran out 5-1 winners at Arsenal on Monday evening.

The Republic of Ireland youth international returned to action two months ago after over a year on the sidelines with a serious leg injury.

And the 21-year-old was delighted to end the Gunners’ unbeaten start in the Barclays U21 Premier League.

Everyone put in a massive effort and it was probably one of the best team performances we’ve had since I’ve come to the club

- Egan on Arsenal win

“To come down to Arsenal and get three points is fantastic but to do it in the way that we did it was even better,” Egan said.

“Everyone put in a massive effort and it was probably one of the best team performances we’ve had since I came to the club.

“It makes it better that they were unbeaten before, but I must say that what we did doesn’t really shock me.

“In training every day Bally [Kevin Ball] and Robbie [Stockdale] are at us setting high standards and everything came together on the night.”

And, after back-to-back defeats saw the Black Cats lose to West Brom in the league and also go down to Burnley in the Barclays U21 Premier League Cup, Egan praised the character in the group to bounce back in spectacular fashion.

“There’s been a few indifferent results in the last couple of games but it’s not been hard to come back in [since injury] with the lads because they’ve been fantastic – I feel like I’ve not been away,” he continued.

“After the last couple of results, against Burnley and West Brom, we really needed to come here and show what we can do and I think we did that – to win 5-1 is unbelievable.

“I think we were very composed and we haven’t been that composed in a while – we passed them off the park at times.”

Mikael Mandron was the star of the show with three of Sunderland’s five goals and Egan was impressed with the young frontman’s all-round performance.

“There are times when you’re under pressure at the back and you need a target man so you can release the ball into the channels and Mika is absolutely brilliant at doing that,” Egan continued.

“He was strong, held the ball up and brought people into play and that’s probably something we’ve been missing in the last few weeks.”