Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Niall's Faith in Roy Rewarded; Quinn Believes Stability Will Lead Cats to New Glory

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Niall's Faith in Roy Rewarded; Quinn Believes Stability Will Lead Cats to New Glory

Article excerpt

Byline: STUART RAYNER

NIALL Quinn will be celebrating more than most Sunderland fans if local rivals Middlesbrough beat relegation this season because the Black Cats chairman believes it will vindicate the patient approach he and opposite number Steve Gibson have adopted this season, writes STUART RAYNER.

Having shown his faith in Roy Keane during a season when the majority of relegation-threatened Premier League chairmen have lost their nerve, Quinn believes his Drumaville consortium are starting to repay the supporters' faith.

Only three teams in the bottom half of the Premier League table - Sunderland, Boro and Reading - can finish the season with the same manager they started with and all three look set to be rewarded with a place in next season's top-flight. Quinn believes it is a lesson some of his flakier colleagues would be well advised to learn from.

"I have a real hope that out of all the eight or nine teams that are down there, that (Boro's) Gareth Southgate and Roy Keane stay up because they are two managers who have been left to get on with it," said the Irishman. "I'd be par ticularly pleased if that happened because it might just point out to other people that stability is more important than being reactionary day-to-day. Should we stay up it will mean so much and kick them on again next year.

"If you've got a plant that needs a bit of water you don't just throw it out, you water it. Some people want to throw it out and get a better one."

Steve Coppell has also survived the sack during an at-times difficult season, but with relations between Reading and the Black Cats a little more frosty, his name was notable by its absence.

The Royals were unhappy at the way the Wearsiders unsuccessfully courted winger Stephen Hunt, while Keane was angered by the disrespect Reading's coaching staff showed him at the Madejski Stadium before Christmas. That the game was settled in the hosts' favour by an incorrectly-awarded goal - scored by Hunt of all people - did nothing to smooth relations. …

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