Martin O'Neill praises Steven Fletcher's contribution since joining Sunderland
Martin O'Neill says Steven Fletcher has added a new dimension to Sunderland's team with his goals and link-up play.
Last Updated: 24/09/12 4:24pm
The Scot plundered his fourth in three games in a red and white shirt at West Ham on Saturday and looked to have fired them to a first Premier League victory of the campaign until Kevin Nolan's last-gasp equaliser.
But while his lethal touch in front of goal - he scored both in a 2-2 draw at Swansea and put Sunderland ahead in their 1-1 draw with Liverpool - has shown exactly why O'Neill was happy to pay so much to secure his services, the former Wolves frontman has also impressed with his general play.
His manager said: "He is playing brilliantly for us. He has helped us immensely in terms of the goals, which is great because he is the only one to score.
"But the extra part of his game, which we didn't really have last season, he is bringing players into play, he is giving us that little bit of respite at times and he is proving himself an all-round top-quality centre-forward.
"He will prove real value for money."
Midfielder Jack Colback and his team-mates have been hugely impressed by Fletcher's contribution to date, and are keeping their fingers crossed that he continues in the same vein.
Colback said: "In the Barclays Premier League, it's hard to score, so it's great to know we have a player of his calibre.
"If you give Fletch the right service, you know he's going to finish the chances off."