Italian in awe of derby day atmosphere.
After hearing about the north-east derby ever since he moved to Wearside, debutant Andrea Dossena admits the occasion did not disappoint him.
Sunderland scored a goal in either half to take bragging rights from local rivals Newcastle United at the Stadium of Light and pick up a vital three points in the Barclays Premier League.
“When I arrived here in September, everybody told me ‘just wait until October 27, you will see an atmosphere like no other inside the stadium’ - and it was.” Dossena beamed.
The left back was a surprise inclusion by head coach Gus Poyet ahead of Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby, after not featuring in any games thus far this term.
What could have been a baptism of fire for the Italian, turned out to be the best possible start to his Sunderland career, he revealed:
“It was a fantastic game – a great first game for me!
“I wanted to make a good impression on supporters and I tried very hard to do just that on the pitch.
“It was a great atmosphere and that gave us a brilliant start in the game. This is the way we need to start every game.
“For us the supporters are fantastic, we need them to help us climb up the table and I hope that we can recreate today’s performance and atmosphere in future home games.”
Former Liverpool star Dossena arrived at the Stadium of Light on transfer deadline day from Napoli, the left-back has played in some big games already in his career and fully understands the importance of winning a derby.
“Before I went to bed last night I closed my eyes and said I hope we win tomorrow,” Dossena continued. “The game was not the best game of football but we did get the win."
The Magpies cancelled out Sunderland's early lead, gained by Steven Fletcher's fifth minute header, 10 minutes after the restart.
Hatem Ben Arfa struck a low shot from the edge of the box and Mathieu Debuchy arrived unmarked at the far post to squeeze an equaliser past keeper Keiren Westwood.
“After Newcastle pulled level I had a word with my team mates, I didn’t like how we conceded to them so early in the second half," Dossena added.
However, Sunderland kept plugging away and substitute Fabio Borini grabbed his first-ever goal for Sunderland in superb fashion with a powerful 25 yard drive to stun stopper Tim Krul and the United backline.
“It was up to us to dig deep and play right until the end and as you saw we did just that and our hard work was rewarded.”