O’Neill buoyed by Cats start

O’Neill was thrilled on Wednesday evening when his side secured a
second victory in his three games at the helm to date with a 3-2
win at QPR. However, he acknowledges that his mood can change
markedly when things are not going so well. “I’m always ebullient
when we are winning games. Wait until you see the other side,” he
said. “It’s pretty dreadful, honestly. It spoils my day and then
what happens is I go and spoil other people’s day, like my family.
“But Wednesday night was just fantastic, really fantastic. Just
winning a football match is great. It doesn’t leave you.” Six
points from a possible nine have left smiles on the faces of
O’Neill, his players and the club’s supporters, and eased the Black
Cats three points clear of the Premier League drop zone. However,
the Ulsterman – whose men face Everton and then leaders Manchester
City at the Stadium of Light over the holiday period – insists that
while his first few weeks on Wearside have been hugely encouraging,
they represent just a start. He said: “It’s encouraging. We badly
needed some points on the board and that’s been achieved. But we
have still a long way to go, obviously.” O’Neill has endured a
whirlwind start to his tenure and the intensity is only likely to
increase with the games coming thick and fast and the winter
transfer window approaching. However, he insists he is enjoying it,
particularly when things turn out as well as they did at Loftus
Road. “In a sort of perverse way, I am,” he added. “Naturally the
winning of football games, the feeling in the dressing room, the
players were elated and the feeling was shared by everyone. “Just
winning football matches, it’s really fantastic. I am still
euphoric. I will come back down to earth, but allow me a day or two
to enjoy it. “The victories are great. You celebrate them,
seemingly, for about 10 minutes, and defeat seems to last about a
week, so I am going to try to reverse that.” Speculation is already
mounting over what O’Neill may be able to do in the transfer market
next month, although the prospect of Asamoah Gyan returning from
his loan spell at United Arab Emirates side Al-Ain has receded. The
agreement which took the Ghana international to the Middle East
covers the entire season, and in any case he will be on African Cup
of Nations duty within the next few weeks. Sunderland have already
been linked with a series of potential targets, many of them
understandably strikers in the wake of the departures of Darren
Bent, Danny Welbeck and Gyan. The name of Fulham’s Bobby Zamora was
added to the list on Friday, although O’Neill was coy when asked
about the suggestion. He joked: “We have been linked today and we
are going to be linked, in the not-too-distant future as January
progresses, with players. “We are linked with some really good
players, we have been linked with some pretty average players and
we have also been linked over the course of time with some pretty
abominable players. “I just want us to be linked with the really
good players.” However, there could be some good news on the
striker front just around the corner with Fraizer Campbell rapidly
approaching contention after his latest knee injury. O’Neill said:
“He is doing very well. He played this morning again for about 75
minutes and the medical team have said to me that there’s not much
more they can do. “They are sending him out, he doesn’t seem to be
having any reactionary problems to anything, so that’s very
encouraging.”