Kilgallon relishing Premier League life
Kilgallon has had to remain patient since making his January move from Sheffield United to the Stadium of Light, and has just six appearances to his name to date. However, that has to date brought the 26-year-old into direct contact with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Louis Saha, Tuncay Sanli, Hugo Rodallega and Aruna Dindane, and that has proved a sharp learning curve after his recent experiences in the Championship. Kilgallon said: "The Championship is a hard league - there are Saturday games, Tuesday games, games every 10 minutes, so that's hard. "But the strikers you mark in the Championship, they may be good at winning the ball in the air and are fast, but may not be the best finishers. "You come into the Premier League and they have got everything - they have got the touch, they have got the jump, so that's the difference, really. "It's about being on your toes a lot more, and concentrating is a very big part of it. "The strikers in the Premier League are all class, but I am only going to get better if I play against them, so I am really enjoying trying my hardest not to let them score - and at the moment, it's going all right." Kilgallon will hope to make a seventh appearance for his new club in the final game of the season at Wolves tomorrow with Ghana international John Mensah once again having been laid low by injury. The York-born defender arrived on Wearside having earlier rejected Newcastle's overtures and was handed a debut in the 2-0 defeat at Everton on January 27, 11 days after the Black Cats had conceded seven at Chelsea. He also started the next three games, all of which ended in draws, but as the club slipped into the depths of a 14-match run without a league victory, manager Steve Bruce decided to take him out of the firing line. Kilgallon said: "It's not just about me, if I was playing. It was to pick a team at the time to get out of a relegation battle. "He did that and it worked. We got some really good results. "It is difficult. That's the strange thing - I wasn't used to sitting on the bench or running after the game and being in on your day off. "I couldn't get my head around it." All Kilgallon could do was knuckle down and redouble his efforts to catch Bruce's eye in training, and when Mensah was unable to take the field at Hull on April 24, his chance came. He said: The gaffer asked me on the pitch at the start if I was ready and I said, 'Of course I am', and he said, 'You're starting'. "I played against Hull and did fine, really, I did okay and then got on against Manchester United. "All it was was just training hard. If you get your head down, it's no good and it's not good for the team either, moping around the place." Sunderland are currently in 13th place, but could yet finish 10th with victory at Molineux, although Stoke and Blackburn ahead of them are both three points better off, and Fulham two. But whatever happens this weekend, the season has been an improvement on the last two and there is confidence within the camp that a foundation has been laid. Kilgallon said: "We were talking about that the other day, the lads, we were just saying we have got a really young squad here, a good young squad. "We were saying it's up to us now to kick on and have a good go next season."