Niall Quinn reveals he was weeping at Sunderland signing who he thought he’d beat in sprint

Victor Anichebe
Victor Anichebe

Niall Quinn says he’s been forced to eat humble pie over Victor Anichebe – after initially thinking he’d beat him in a sprint.

Sunderland legend Quinn admits he was surprised by the level of performance of free transfer capture Anichebe in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth.

The big striker scored one and made the other to help the Black Cats pick up their first league win of the season.

Writing in his Sky Sports column, Quinn said: “On transfer deadline night I did some weeping and gnashing of teeth when Sunderland failed to sign a new striker.

“They picked up Victor Anichebe on a free soon after and I thought that even with my aches and pains I’d back myself to beat him in 40-yard sprint. I also thought that neither of us should attempt any distance longer than that without emergency medical services present.

“But wait. I saw Anichebe play for Sunderland at Bournemouth on Saturday and I ate some humble pie at half-time. David Moyes surprised Eddie Howe (and maybe surprised himself) by putting out an attacking team with Anichebe, in his first start, playing up front to take some pressure off Jermain Defoe.

“It worked. And Anichebe worked. He scored one and got fouled for the penalty, which gave Defoe his mandatory place on the score sheet.

“Nobody is saying that Sunderland will be fending off Pogba style offers to keep Anichebe next summer, but he gave Sunderland some presence on Saturday, he gave them a goal, a win and a boost to morale with the promise that playing some attacking football might be a worthwhile exercise after all.”