Brad Friedel is more aware than most of Martin O’Neill’s ‘uncanny knack’ of being able to inspire his teams.
The former Leicester City, Celtic and Villa boss returned to management at Sunderland on December 3.
He took charge for the first time against Blackburn last weekend – and two goals in the final 10 minutes turned a 1-0 deficit into a much-needed 2-1 win.
Brad played under O’Neill at Aston Villa. “Martin is a very good manager, a very astute manager,” he said.
“He went in there and did what everyone expected him to do in his first game and that was to get a win against Blackburn.
“He has an uncanny knack of being able to lift the spirits of players and a squad.
“Having said that, I’d like to think that we’ll have the quality to overcome Sunderland.
“It won’t be easy and we’ll have to start well from minute one. In the last couple of away games we’ve not been outstanding in the first halves, but very strong in the second halves.
“At home, we’ve come out from minute one and we’ll be looking to come out on the front foot, and to get Sunderland on the back foot.”