Cuellar 'honoured' to take armband

by Stuart Vose

Defender reflects on 'special day'.

Carlos Cuellar was lost for words after witnessing the incredible scenes at the final whistle following yesterday's win over Manchester City.

Cuellar was handed the privilege of captaining the club for the first time in the absence of John O'Shea and led the Black Cats to a 1-0 victory.

There was certainly plenty of festive cheer around the Stadium of Light at full-time and the defender said the celebrations were a fitting way to mark a superb performance.

“I can't describe it – it was unbelievable,” said Cuellar, who was partnered by Matt Kilgallon in John O'Shea's absence.

“We put everything – 100% - into every action, every tackle.

“I think we played some nice football and could have scored more goals on the counter-attack. Everyone can be proud.

“For me it is an honour to captain this football club for the first time and to achieve three points.

“It's a special day and the feeling is unbelievable.”

Cuellar helped lay on the winning goal for Adam Johnson, who scored the decider against his former club.

The winger received the ball out wide before cutting inside and launching a speculative 30-yard shot past Joe Hart.

“I was surprised because I didn't expect Adam to shoot,” Cuellar explained.

“Even the goalkeeper thought he was going to cross the ball and he was going to the right side of his goal.

“But Adam shot and the ball came down so quickly that he couldn't save it.”

Sunderland are now one of the Barclays' Premier League's in-form teams having taken nine points from the last 12 available.

And Cuellar says Sunderland's positive attitude against City is a hallmark of their recent progress.

“I think we are starting to show how good we can be,” he explained.

“From the first minute we tried to play. You have to be brave to play forward against City.

“They had chances, but that is normal. It is impossible to play against Manchester City without them creating chances.”