Gardner calls for patience

Midfielder trusts manager to get the best transfer deals for the club

Louis Saha: The striker is one of only two summer signings for Sunderland so far this year

Craig Gardner insists Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is right not to be rushed into any panic buys as the summer transfer window nears its end.

The Ulsterman has only added the experienced pair of 34-year-old striker Louis Saha and 30-year-old Carlos Cuellar to the squad on one and two years deals respectively.

The club have been linked with Wolves hitman Steven Fletcher and talented Manchester City misfit Adam Johnson, but are still believed to be locked in talks over their transfers.

But Gardner, who was at Aston Villa with O'Neill, called for patience from the fans who are itching to see Asamoah Gyan and Nicklas Bendtner replaced as quickly as possible.

He told the Sunderland Echo: "I've worked with the gaffer before and he's not a genius for no reason.

"He's not forced to buy players. He hasn't won medals and been as successful as he is by rushing in and people telling him what to do.

"He decides what needs to be done, and that's what makes him so good."

Top-class

Both new signings made their Sunderland debuts in the goalless season opener against Arsenal with Saha catching the eye of Gardner straight away.

"When Louis came on, I thought he was unbelievable. He held the ball up, was strong and that's what we needed," he said.

"Even in the changing room, it helps when you see someone who has been at Manchester United, and he's a top-class player and top-class person.

"He talks to you, tells you and encourages you, and that's what you need. If we can get a few more players in to go with his experience, that would be great."