Lamine Kone is fast becoming a fan favourite on Wearside with ‘Ole, Ole, Ole Kone’ ringing out from around the stands. However, even he is bewildered as to how the Stadium of Light’s new recruits have settled so quickly.
Kone has suggested that it may be down to the strong team spirit at the club.
An instant hit
The £5million signing arrived from Lorient in January, along with goalkeeper Steve Harper, loanee Dame N’Doye, Jan Kirchhoff and the £9million Wahbi Khazri. The four outfield players have made an instant impact and particularly impressed in Sunderland’s 2-1 victory over Manchester United.
Sam Allardyce and his squad are currently in Dubai for warm weather training, taking advantage of a week break having exited the FA Cup in the third round.
Kone has heaped praise on his team-mates for helping the new additions settle in almost immediately.
The towering centre-back has struck a solid partnership with captain John O’Shea after just three games.
Kone has his say
Kone said, “I’m not sure why we’ve all adapted so quickly. The group here have all helped us in integrating with the club."
He added, “The Premier League is obviously a big difference. But they’ve answered all of our questions.”
Kone almost marked his third outing as a Sunderland player with a winning goal but was unlucky to see it chalked off as David De Gea own goal.
That thing that can’t be taken away from Kone, however, is the three points. The win over United will prove a crucial deciding fact in whether Sunderland stay up or finally take the dreaded plunge into the Championship.
Black Cats in Dubai
The club been using the facilities at Dubai Sports City, which is ran by ex-Real Madrid man Michel Salgado.
The full-back played under Allardyce during his stint at Blackburn Rovers.
Sunderland are back in action against West Ham United early next Saturday as Sam Allardyce returns to his old stomping ground.