IR­ISH AYES LURE MARC TO THE SOL

Sunderland Echo - - Front page - BY PHIL SMITH

0 Sun­der­land head to Hull City’s KCOM Sta­dium look­ing for a first clean sheet of the Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship sea­son at the eighth at­tempt to­mor­row.

Marc Wil­son ad­mits that Sun­der­land’s Ir­ish con­tin­gent was a big fac­tor in him opt­ing to move to Wear­side.

The 30-year-old has started both games since sign­ing a one-year deal on dead­line day, and has also re­vealed for­mer Black Cat Jonny Evans gave a cru­cial and ring­ing en­dorse­ment of the club.

Evans (pic­tured) was a fan favourite on Wear­side af­ter two hugeinly suc­cess­ful loan spells, and played with Wil­son when the Ire­land ter­na­tional was on loan at West Bromwich Al­bion last sea­son.

Wil­son said: “I spoke with a few of the boys. I spoke with Jonny Evans – he had high praise for the club and loved his time here.

“I know all the Ir­ish boys in the dress­ing room and they all had good things to say about the place. When I heard all that, it wasn’t a hard de­ci­sion for me.

“It is a mas­sive club that got rel­e­gated last year and they want to do well – there are some good play­ers in there with good ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It is a good side with good po­ten­tial. If we can get ev­ery­body fir­ing in the right di­rec­tion, then that is the main thing.”

The for­mer Bournemouth and Stoke City man is con­fi­dent that the fa­mil­iar faces in the dress­ing room will help him to set­tle in quickly in a cru­cial sea­son for both him­self and the club.

“I think it does help. I have known Ado [McGeady], John O’Shea, Dar­ron Gib­son for years now and we have all played to­gether,” he said.

“That does help, it is a big pos­i­tive.”

Wil­son has made an en­cour­ag­ing start to his Sun­der­land ca­reer, de­spite two de­feats, par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive in the nar­row de­feat to Not­ting­ham For­est on Tues­day night.

De­spite Sun­der­land’s strug­gles last sea­son and a sense of low morale on Wear side, Wil­son in­sists that he was left in no doubt that he wanted to join the club to re­build his ca­reer af­ter a dif­fi­cult time on the South Coast. “I haven’t spo­ken to any­one who had a bad word to say about the club. If peo­ple had then you would start to think is this the right move for me?” he said. “But that wasn’t the case. “Every word was pos­i­tive. I am de­lighted to be here and I am look­ing for­ward to the train­ing ses­sions.

“I have got the hunger back for the game. Due to in­jury and other rea­sons, it hadn’t been there for the past year, but I feel hun­gry now and want to get back out play­ing.”

Wil­son is likely to keep his place in the side when the Black Cats travel to face Hull City at the KCOM Sta­dium to­mor­row, though Si­mon Grayson will be hop­ing that Lamine Kone will also be avail­able for se­lec­tion.

The Ivory Coast in­ter­na­tional cen­tre-back was sub­sti­tuted at half-time in last week­end’s 2-1 de­feat to Sh­effield United, a game in which he started with the cap­tain’s arm­band, due to a groin prob­lem.

Marc Wil­son goes gun­ning for a first win in Sun­der­land colours when the Black Cats visit Hull to­mor­row.

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