Kamara: Sunderland in play-offs at least!

Last updated : 23 February 2007 By John Jenkin
Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara thinks Sunderland will at least make the play-off this season. He had this to say.

"Roy Keane has done a fantastic job at Sunderland since he took over from Niall Quinn at the end of August last year. To be fair to Roy he has been given a chance unlike other managers, which was the reason why he took the job in the first place."

"He obviously had a good chat with Niall and made it clear that if he was going to take the job he would need money to spend and to bring players in immediately, which he was allowed to do."

"Quinn backed his man and Roy was able to bring in a host of players in the August and January transfer windows. But I always thought that Sunderland were in a false position when Keano took over."

"They had only just been relegated from the Premiership, so Roy was inheriting a squad that still had some quality about it even if the confidence was low. It wasn't as if he was taking over a squad made up of players from the lower leagues."

"That's not to take anything away from Roy because he has done a great job. You always felt that he would be a success as a manager given the presence he had as a player."

"On current form I believe the Black Cats are all but guaranteed to be in the play-offs come the end of the season. But it is typical of Roy's character that he will be annoyed at conceding a last minute goal to Birmingham at St Andrews on Tuesday night."

"It's so tight at the top that Sunderland can't afford to dwell on their recent of run of 19 points from a possible 24; they've just got to keep going right through to the end of the campaign."

"If David Connolly can maintain the form he has shown since signing from Wigan the Black Cats will be in with great chance."

"Connolly looks to be one of those strikers that might not be quite good enough to make it in the Premiership but at Championship level he scores goals for fun, with nine and counting so far in the league this season."

"Connolly has been different class, as have Dean Whitehead in midfield and Carlos Edwards who has proved a great signing for them."

"Stern John is one who has to produce his best form now because he is playing under Roy Keane who demands a worthy performance week in week out."

"In the past Stern hasn't justified his ability in the Championship apart from last season at Coventry when the World Cup was looming, but Roy doesn't settle for second best and Stern will be all the better for it as he showed with two goals against Southend last week."

"Looking at the fixtures coming up Sunderland have Derby at home and then West Brom and Barnsley on the road."

"The first two will be very tough games, but they can take confidence into the Derby game after coming from behind to beat the Rams in Roy's first game in charge back in September."

"March will narrow the table down to around eight clubs who will all be in with a fighting chance, at the moment it extends to a few more than that but I don't expect Sunderland to be anywhere else than at least the play-offs come the end of the season."

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