After two frustrating years on Merseyside, Darron Gibson is ready to try and rebuild his career on Wearside.
Visiting Penshaw Monument to promote the club’s Keep the Faith campaign, the Ireland international spoke to Phil Smith about David Moyes, Sir Alex and his fitness...
How pleased were you to get this move, Darron? You’ve been mentioned with Sunderland a few times over the years?
“I was delighted. I have had a tough two years down there [Everton], not playing so I needed a new start. I needed to start to enjoy football again so I am pleased it has gone through.
“I nearly signed here when I was 14 and I have been linked a few times in the last few years as well. Obviously it didn’t happen, this time it did.
“I was coming over when I was about 12 on trial. It was the year Sunderland went down. That put me off and I signed for United instead.
How did the move come about this time and what have your first impressions been?
“I heard the rumours this time but had not had any contact with anyone. Sunday evening my agent rang to say it could be on, so I jumped in my car and here I am after it got done on Monday morning.
“It is exciting for me because I have enjoyed training again in the last couple of days, which is something I have not enjoyed for a while. Hopefully I can get the games in now.
“I know a few of the lads here, they are a good group of players here and hopefully we can get a couple of lads back.”
How big a factor was David Moyes in you coming in here? He’s already said he’s looking for you to shoot and add some goals...
“The manager here took me to Everton from Manchester United and, in my opinion, I played some of my best football under him for the first two years I was there. Hopefully I can do the same thing here.
“I will be shooting, if I can get far enough forward!”
How do you assess the picture at the club? Obviously the table doesn’t make for great reading...
“I don’t think you can do anything other than work hard, obviously it is going to be tough but we have a good run of games against teams in and around us.
“The one at the weekend (relegation rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park) is a massive game. Hopefully we can build on the game the other night (the 0-0 draw with Spurs). We were defensively solid and the manager set us up well.
“Defensively we were solid, it is something to build on. If we can get players back and have a few more options them I think we will be all right.
How are you getting on fitness wise? And do you feel you can be that forward-thinking, creative midfielder SAFC have maybe lacked a bit ?
“I was fit until I walked up the 1000 steps! I feel good, I have trained all season, it’s just games are different. Hopefully it won’t take me long to get in the swing of things.
“Growing up at Manchester United and playing under Sir Alex Ferguson, I was taught to look forward, so I like to think I am quite good at that.
Were there other offers and what made you go for Sunderland?
“Having worked under David Moyes before was a big influence. I needed out of there. There were a few options but nothing I fancied as much as this. It will be a challenge but I am looking forward to it.