Park Life – Scottish midfield maestro Shaun Maloney believes it will be a stern test at the Stadium of Light and also lifts the lid on what Martin O’Neill is like as a manager
With both Latics and Sunderland heading into the game tomorrow with a win behind them in the Capital One Cup, Maloney expressed that both will be confident and outlined the dangers that the Black Cats possess.
“Sunderland are going to be a pretty attacking team and fully committed especially in front of their home crowd, so it will be a hard game this weekend.
“James McLean will definitely be one of the players we have to be wary of because he is a determined player and attacks with a lot of pace.
“Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher have come in for them and as a four with Stephane Sessegnon as well, they can be a very dangerous side going forward and it is up to us to try and stop them.”
Confidence may be high in the Sunderland camp but, Maloney said he and his team-mates are also buoyant.
“The manager and his staff have so much confidence in us and the Club which gives us confidence that if we play to the best of our ability then we can cause teams in this league a problem.
“We just have to find that consistency now to be our best each week and when it really matters.”
“It’s important for me that the players know I’ll give my all for them because when we all give 100% we motivate each other.
“I try to give my all for the fans as well and since I came here they’ve always been behind us even if the results haven’t been too great.”
The 29-year-old will come up against his former Celtic and Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill tomorrow, someone he holds in high regard.
“He was the manager who gave me my debut at Celtic and who brought me to the Premier League at Aston Villa.
“He’s a very good manager, very honest and fair but you certainly know about it if you get on the wrong side of him.
“You could get motivated by him and in that respect our manager is the same because you always feel ready with the gaffer.”