'I'm loving it!': Luke O'Nien on his new role and Sunderland Wembley win

Luke O’Nien says he was well aware of Sunderland’s Wembley woes – and was delighted to finally win at the national stadium.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 7:44 am
Luke O'Nien and Lee Burge.
Luke O'Nien and Lee Burge.

The Black Cats beat Tranmere 1-0 in the final of the Papa John’s Trophy after Lynden Gooch scored the only goal of the game in the second half.

Captain Max Power lifted the trophy, marking Sunderland’s first win at Wembley since 1973.

O’Nien told Sky Sports after the game: “That felt amazing.

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Luke O'Nien and Lee Burge.

“I was just saying to Maxy that when he lifted that trophy that meant a lot, not just for me but for everyone back home as well.

“I know we’ve gone on a bad run at Wembley and that’s for everyone back home as well. That felt good.”

Asked how aware he was of Sunderland’s record at Wembley, O’Nien replied: “Very aware, I was part of the last two which was really bad but that’s just motivation over the last couple of years.

“We have a good group here and are in a good run of form. We’ll enjoy it tonight and then focus on returning back to the league.”

Luke O'Nien and Lee Burge.

O’Nien, who was awarded Sky’s man of the match award, once again played at centre-back and says he’s enjoying his new role.

“I’m loving it. I have great people around me helping me out all the time,” he added. ”You have lads throwing bodies on the line, blocking shots and Goochy’s goal today was different class.

“From back to front we are in a good place and it’s brilliant to be a part of.”

O’Nien, who is a popular figure with supporters, also hopes fans back home will enjoy the victory, and that this is the start of a new dawn following Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ takeover.

“I think everyone can feel that back at home watching the tele,” said O’Nien.

“I think the players and the fans feel we are going in a good direction so long may it continue. Now we have to focus on promotion.

“The fans have done an incredible job sending virtual tickets and they’ve been phonminanal with us. That felt good and I hope it felt good at home.”

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