Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has admitted he has a ‘tough job’, but believes he is the man to deliver success at the Stadium of Light.
The Northern Irishman has come under pressure in recent weeks after a troublesome start to the Black Cats’ league season, which has left them in a lowly 16th place ahead of the club’s trip to Norwich City this weekend.
However, O’Neill is sure his time with Sunderland will be “successful” despite the job matching his stern expectations before he joined
“It’s almost exactly what I thought it would be and, from that aspect, it hasn’t disappointed,” O’Neill told reporters.
“It’s a tough job, I know. (Owner and chairman) Mr Short said to me when I came here, ‘Look, try to stay in the division’, and perhaps we got carried away with ourselves because we were able to achieve that more quickly than I had thought.
“This season, it has been tough. I expected it to be tough and, obviously, it’s important that we are in this division for next season as well.
“There is no such thing as a five or 10-year project anymore in management but it takes a little bit of time. That’s very, very obvious, but I expect it to be successful.”
And O’Neill is willing to delve into the January transfer market to bolster his squad, despite suggestions from other managers that mid-season additions can fail to deliver.
He continued: “We will try to strengthen if we can do. Most people will tell you that maybe it is not the best time but I have done it in the past and the players I have taken in in the January transfer window have proved pretty successful, the likes of Ashley Young (at Aston Villa).
“It is the one opportunity during the course of the season that you get, and it would be inappropriate for us not to have a look at that.
“If you were thinking about somebody that you feel is capable of doing something pretty OK for the club for the next couple of years, then January is no different to the summertime.”