Sunderland boss Roy Keane is backing Liam Miller to become a major Premiership player.

"Over the last few weeks he has been a big influence on the team," Keane told the Sunday Sun. "He has a lot of energy. He has quality and skill. I said after the Arsenal game that we just wanted more consistency from Liam. That will come.

"He's a vital part of our plans, he trains well, he's rarely injured and he covers the ground well.

"He's an intelligent player who we want to go to the next level and I believe he can go there.

"He scored a very good goal against Middlesbrough and any top midfielder needs to be able to score goals. It's only natural I watch midfielders a bit more because of where I played.

"Without a doubt he has all the ingredients to move to the next level. He didn't start for us in a few games at the start of the season but it will come with more games.

"He has been a very good signing for us and we're delighted with him.

"It didn't work our for him at Manchester United, he saw a chance to make it work at a big club like Sunderland and hopefully it will work out over the next few years."