Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has told new signing Danny Graham to let his football do the talking as he attempts to prove his critics wrong.
The 27-year-old will go straight into the squad for today’s Barclays Premier League trip to Wigan having completed a £5million switch to the Stadium of Light from Swansea on Thursday.
However, he did so with the debate over his boyhood affiliation to Newcastle and consequent attitude to his new club still raging on. Graham was booed by some home fans during the Swans’ 0-0 draw on Wearside on Tuesday evening less than 48 hours before he signed, but O’Neill is confident he will silence his detractors by doing what he does on the pitch.
The Ulsterman said: “He wants to do well and the very fact is that the reaction he got the other evening didn’t put him off coming here. That would say something about the lad, and I think he wants to go and prove himself. I think he has felt that during the course of his career. That’s what he’s had to do every single time, try to prove himself. That’s probably what has kept him going.
“I have no doubt that he will score goals and prove a great buy. He has got some experience, of course, because he scored goals last season, and I think he wants to prove a point. All those attributes, I find pretty nice.”
O’Neill was not deterred by Graham’s less than unanimous reception, and sees no reason why he cannot be a big hit on Wearside. He said: “Steven Fletcher has come in and he might not have been everyone’s choice, and he’s settled down and he has been terrific for us. We have got a number of people here who have grown up Middlesbrough fans or Newcastle fans. Lee Cattermole may never have considered himself ever playing for Sunderland. It can happen.”