My tribe

Sunderland revelation McClean: Is this really happening?

Sunderland winger James McClean admits he's still pinching himself over his Premier League success.

The former Derry City star won a contract upgrade at Sunderland last week.

McClean told the Daily Mail: "I'm pinching myself, because it's going so well. A lot has happened in the last few months, but I knew that if was given a chance I would give it a good go and do as much as I can to stay in the team.

"When I first came over, the manager said to me 'just work hard and try and get your debut' but things have happened a bit quicker than that. Hopefully the next few months will be even better again.

"The manager has given me a lot of confidence just by selecting me, but I'm also really enjoying my football and I feel I can continue. I've grown up watching the Premier League week in week out and you just dream of playing here. I'm relishing it, just enjoying every moment.

"I watched the Cup finals from being no age right up to last year. Just to be involved in that this year would be a miracle, a dream come true. My hero was the Brazilian Ronaldo, the striker, and being a massive United fan, Ryan Giggs as well. All my friends ask what it's like to be on the pitch with your heroes and whether I'm overawed, but I'm not actually. I just take things as they come.

"They're just human like me. Being a Man United fan, I had to come here and have my first day in the changing room with Wes Brown and John O'Shea and you think 'wow', but you're not fazed by it.

"The players give you more respect if you're not star-struck or anything like that. You've got to earn their respect on the training pitch as well."

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?