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O'Neill confident Sunderland fans will take to Geordie Graham

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is confident fans will back new signing Danny Graham.

The former Middlesbrough striker, who was overlooked as a teenager by Sunderland, has the backing of his new boss Martin O'Neill after he received his own warm welcome to the North East for Tuesday's goalless draw at the Stadium of Light.

Graham was booed by home fans and subjected to vile anti-Newcastle chants.

O'Neill said: "I didn't give it much thought. I was more concerned about our own performance and trying to get a goal. It was only afterwards when you start to think about it that you worry it might have an influence on him but he wanted to come here.

"Danny grew up as a Newcastle fans and that is fine. I hope I am not speaking out of turn but maybe Lee Cattermole's dream was not always to play for us when he was at Middlesbrough. I was at Celtic and when you consider it, Kenny Dalglish and Danny McGrain were two absolutely brilliant players who were brought up supporting the other team.

"Danny said something in a fanzine at Watford, and that was pretty south at the time. I'm not so sure you are thinking anything will go back up North several years later! I haven't talked to him about his football journey, but other people have told me about him and you get the feeling he has had to fight all the way because he was told he was not good enough.

"How he does for the club will determine everything else. I really have no doubts that he will score goals and prove a great buy for us."

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Tribal Football Staff

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