Martin O'Neill is right man to take Sunderland forward, says Dwight Yorke
Dwight Yorke backed Martin O'Neill to turn around Sunderland's fortunes after their loss to West Brom.
Last Updated: 24/11/12 5:16pm
Last weekend's victory at Fulham was the only their second of the season and the manager was hoping to build on that result in front of their home supporters against the high-flying Baggies in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off.
However, the Stadium of Light supporters were left disappointed once again after a 4-2 defeat that leaves the club languishing in the bottom half of the table with only 12 points from their opening 12 games.
However, former Sunderland player Yorke does not expect them to be dragged into a relegation battle and while he admits they lack creativity in midfield, he feels O'Neill - who took charge just over 12 months ago - will soon turn things around.
"He had a flying start when he took over the reins here at Sunderland," Yorke told Sky Sports.
"He came in and changed things around. We know he's a very passionate man about his football and he brings something totally different to the team. The players responded in the right manner.
"However, this season hasn't turned out that way and I think in the middle of the midfield they haven't got a creative player. You need that sort of stuff.
"Sitting 15th in the league is nothing to really be concerned about, but I think Martin O'Neill himself sets himself high standards whatever team he's at and I think there'll be disappointment in where they are now.
"They haven't got that consistency that he brought to the team last season and there's some questions still to be answered.
"But if there's anybody who can turn things around, Martin O'Neill can do that."
In stark contrast, West Brom are enjoying their best ever start to a Premier League season and the victory saw them rise to third place in the table ahead of the afternoon kick-offs.
And Yorke said it was evident that Steve Clarke has instilled plenty of belief in his players.
"They controlled the game from the start," he said.
"Sunderland showed them a lot of respect and this West Brom team has been playing absolutely fantastic football all season. I think Sunderland showed them too much respect.
"West Brom took the initiative, took control of the ball, controlled the tempo of the game, their passing selection was much better and they were more precise.
"You can sense that they are a team high in confidence. They didn't panic when it mattered, they were calm throughout the team and I like that.
"I like the shape, everyone seems to know their role in the team, so all credit to Steve Clarke and his team."