Ex-Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill believes that the club will be in the Champions League at some point in the future.
Speaking to The Chronicle, the Northern Irishman said it may not be in his lifetime, but it will be something that the fans deserve.
O’Neill was appointed the manager of the Black Cats back in December 2011 following the sacking of Steve Bruce. In March 2013, he was fired by Sunderland as Paolo Di Canio replaced him as they scrapped to survive in the Premier League.
In his time with the club, O’Neill would have some memorable moments on Wearside, including beating Liverpool and Manchester City 1-0 back in the 2011/12 campaign.
O’Neill stated: “It’s just waiting. One of these decades, Sunderland is going to be playing in the Champions League. It might not be in my lifetime, but it will be something that I genuinely believe Sunderland fans deserve.”
TIF Thoughts on O’Neill’s comments…
We believe that it’s certainly a bold comment made by O’Neill, but Sunderland fans will love the sentiment. Given where the club are situated at present, they can only focus taking one step at a time for now.
The Black Cats currently sit 11th in the Championship following promotion from League One last season. However, it’s still all to play for in the league, with Tony Mowbray’s side only four points off a play-off spot with over half of the campaign remaining.
Mowbray has said in the past that there’s no pressure on him from the owners to get promotion secured in their first season back in the Championship, when speaking to the Northern Echo.
However, the fact Sunderland are comfortably in mid-table definitely shows a promising start to life back in the second tier, while fans would be absolutely over the moon if they were able to secure promotion to the Premier League – never mind hit the heights O’Neill has talked about.
Their first two games back from the World Cup break have seen a victory and a defeat, as they beat Millwall 3-0 at the Stadium of Light before losing 2-1 to West Brom earlier this week.
Consistent results will be key for the Black Cats if they’re to secure promotion via the play-offs and take the next step on what would be a remarkable journey to Europe’s top table.