Richardson - Fresh start

Black Cats left-back believes O'Neill will be able to turn club around

Kieran Richardson: Believes his new boss will be able to lift the players' spirits

Sunderland defender Kieran Richardson believes that new boss Martin O'Neill will be able to turn the team's poor form around.

O'Neill, who was appointed to replace Steve Bruce, witnessed his team's 2-1 defeat to Wolves on Sunday after Stephen Fletcher's late double left the Black Cats just a point above the relegation zone.

The ex-Aston Villa boss will have his first game in charge against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday and Richardson believes his new manager's arrival will do the club a massive favour.

"It's been a bit emotional this week because, when a new manager comes in, after the old one is sacked, it means the team is not doing well," Richardson told the Sunderland Echo.

"It's been upsetting from that point of view. But the new manager gives you a lift and hopefully it will get the players back to winning ways. We believe we can do that, we've got the players and I'm sure the fans know that as well.

"This week, we've got to crack on with a new manager coming in, with new tactics, new everything. From now on, it starts afresh and we'll see what happens."

Upsetting

Richardson struck early in the second half against Wolves to give Sunderland the lead, however, the turning point was when Seb Larsson missed a penalty which Fletcher then replied to a minute later before scoring the winner.

"Missing the penalty and them scoring straightaway was upsetting to us," he said. "We should have defended better for the goal, but it wasn't to be and hopefully we can put it right next week.

"Neither team are in the top half of the table and there was a lot of pressure on both of us. I don't think the lads were nervous, but there was a lot of pressure. But when you come to Sunderland, you've got to be able to handle that.

"I was pleased to have scored the goal, but I'd have swapped that for a win. We're creating chances, but we're not taking them at the moment.

"It's just not going our way. But we've said that a lot this season and sometimes you've got to draw the line and take responsibility.

"Maybe we should work more on our finishing in training. But we've got good strikers, we believe in them and as long as we're creating chances, I'm sure we'll be all right."