Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quinn Targets Two New Faces

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quinn Targets Two New Faces

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Niall quinn is determined to add at least two new players to his squad ahead of Sunderland's midweek clash with Birmingham, writes Paul Gilder.

The Black Cats boss is desperate to prevent a crippling culture of defeat wrecking his side's promotion prospects after the Irishman began his managerial career with a 2-1 reverse at Coventry yesterday.

And although he was keen to stress the positives as he departed the Ricoh Arena, he admitted the club's chances could now hinge on his ability to make a quick breakthrough in the transfer market.

A manager who will this week renew his attempts to strike a deal to bring Kevin Phillips back to Wearside will strive to add new faces to his squad in time for them to line up against Steve Bruce's team on Wednesday evening.

And with deals for Arsenal's Anthony Stokes and West Ham's Clive Clarke understood to be at an advanced stage, Quinn hopes his efforts in the transfer market will give fresh impetus to a season that started in the worst manner possible.

"We hope to have a couple in place who will come into contention for the Birmingham game," said Quinn last night.

"Ideally, before the end of this transfer window, I would like two players fighting for every position, that's my aim.

"I have a lot of good players here but I have to increase competition and give the squad more depth and push every player who comes and puts the shirt on. We need self-belief and more people in the squad. With those, I think we will take off." Kenny Cunningham was Sunderland's only debutant in the Midlands but, with Quinn expected to contact newly appointed Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill later today to discuss the chances of Phillips returning to Wearside, a boss close to striking deals for Clarke and Stokes is confident he will soon boast a stronger first team squad.

Restoring shattered belief could prove more difficult. Having won just three matches in the Premiership last season, the Black Cats left the Ricoh Arena with a familiar feeling and the Dubliner will work hard to halt its spread.

"They are hurt," said Quinn, who admitted that he has to eradicate a culture of failure immediately if he is to stand any chance of engineering a successful season.

"It has happened on the first day of the season after happening a lot last year and they know it can't go on.

"It's encouraging for me that their reaction was sheer disappointment. In terms of going forward, we will drive home the good things they did.

"In their minds, they believe they threw away three points and they are very disappointed with themselves.

"I have to make them aware that it was their hard work that got them into the position to win it but that they just need a bit of steel and professionalism.

"If we go a goal up on Wednesday night I will be screaming at them to go and score a second. …

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