Niall Quinn reminisces about ‘magical’ Sunderland days ahead of play-off final

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Sunderland /Niall Quinn
(Image credit: Paul Barker)

Former Sunderland striker Niall Quinn admitted that the dressing country became the “most magical place” successful the aftermath of the Black Cats’ 1998 play-off last nonaccomplishment to Charlton.

The erstwhile Republic of Ireland planetary was portion of the broadside who were beaten by the Addicks successful the First Division play-off final, losing 7-6 connected penalties aft initially drafting 4-4.

However, Sunderland bounced backmost 1 play aboriginal aft a record-breaking run saw them unafraid Premier League promotion with 105 points.

Niall Quinn with the play-off trophy

Niall Quinn posed with the play-off trophy (EFL handout/PA)

Quinn was speaking connected behalf of the EFL up of Sunderland’s Sky Bet League One play-off last against Wycombe astatine Wembley connected Saturday afternoon, wherever a spot successful the Championship is up for grabs.

He told the PA quality agency: “Our 1 (play-off final) successful ‘98 inactive reverberates the symptom and the fto down of having been truthful close. We were successful the pb 3 times I deliberation successful the game.

“My champion representation of the time was the doorway slamming connected the dressing country erstwhile we yet got to our dressing room, possibly half-an-hour aft the past penalty.

“(Then boss) Peter Reid demanded a committedness from america individually, one-to-one, ‘are we going to travel backmost and are we going to marque a spell from this and commencement connected time one?’

“We had a unspeakable commencement to that (1997-1998) season, we had a hangover aft being successful the Premier League the twelvemonth before, we got relegated connected the past time and we didn’t commencement for astir 10 to 12 games, but we got going brilliantly.

“Peter Reid enactment the question retired there, demanded commitments from america and everyone committed to instrumentality backmost to the nine and cipher was going to look for a transportation – helium wasn’t going to person to motion millions of players.

“We had our holiday, came backmost and we had a superb 3 years from that infinitesimal on.

“We ran distant with the Championship and we had 2 large years successful the Premier League. I deliberation it was calved retired of the absorption to that decision that day, due to the fact that we could person easy fallen retired arsenic teams do.

“But the radical stayed beardown and it was the astir superb dressing room, the astir magical dressing room, to beryllium successful for those 3 years aft that day.

“I’ll ne'er hide the comradery and the tone of the dressing room, but besides the demands made connected each different by the players.

“I get the feeling that the existent temper successful the Sunderland campy is connected that upwards trajectory, demanding much from each other, overcoming that fearfulness that was successful the nine for the past fewer years.”

Patrick Roberts (second right) celebrates

Sunderland bushed Sheffield Wednesday successful the play-off semi-finals (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Saturday’s last volition beryllium Sunderland’s 3rd play-off League One promotion effort successful 4 years aft losing 2-1 to Charlton successful the 2019 play-off last and falling abbreviated against Lincoln past play successful the semi-finals.

Alex Neil’s broadside bushed Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 connected aggregate to unafraid a spot successful the last and Quinn was afloat of praise for the Black Cats boss, who took complaint successful February pursuing Lee Johnson’s departure.

“Some radical really consciousness that helium (Neil) talks a benignant of connection that they’ve waited rather a portion to hear.” Quinn added.

“That it’s elemental capable successful 1 way, but really by applying it and making it happen, not lone talking astir it, but showing the benefits of it.

“In that 2 oregon 3 period period, I deliberation the players person learned to play his way, learned to accommodate to situations his way.

“Effectively his absorption benignant has rubbed disconnected connected them and they’ve bought into it and they’re each doing amended individually arsenic a result.”

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