Martin O'Neill hails Sunderland's first Premier League victory of the season
Martin O'Neill was delighted after watching Sunderland secure their first Premier League victory of the season.
Last Updated: 30/09/12 8:57am
Steven Fletcher was the match winner at the Stadium of Light as he bagged his fifth goal in four games for the club since his big-money summer move from Wolves.
And O'Neill admitted he was more relieved than anything else as the Black Cats finally got off the mark against the 10 men and was thankful to his goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for keeping them in the game at times.
"Well, eventually, when the final whistle went it was possibly more relief than anything else," he told Sky Sports.
"During the course of the game, which I though in the first half was end-to-end, we had to rely on Mignolet in making some fantastic saves for us.
"He kept Wigan at bay and then we were relying again on Steven Fletcher coming up and scoring another great goal for us.
"His overall play was just fantastic, but in the end it was great to win the game.
"When we got the goal in front try as we may, we just couldn't get that second goal and everybody became a bit anxious in the last ten minutes."
The 25-year-old Scottish hitman turned James McClean's 51st-minute cross-shot past keeper Ali Al Habsi to win the match and O'Neill paid special praise to his £12million frontman.
"I thought his centre forward display today was just incredible. I thought he held the ball up and gave space for other people. And when you're relying on him getting into the area, he did just that as well.
"I know McClean may just have mis-hit his shot, but Fletcher was there again. He's been terrific for us since he started and long may his run continue. His overall play suggests that he's a proper player."