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Borini keen for Sunderland to build on his derby heroics
WEARSIDE'S derby hero Fabio Borini last night relived the moment he earned a place in Sunderland's history before confidently predicting that this season could still be a success story at the Stadium of Light.
After struggling to make an impact since moving on a season-long from Liverpool on deadline day, Borini exploded in to life on Sunday when he crashed in a stunning winner six minutes from time to give Sunderland the points against neighbours Newcastle United.
Not only was it the 22-year-old's first goal for the Black Cats, it was also only the second Premier League goal he has scored since moving to Anfield from Roma in a £10.5m deal in the summer of 2012.
Borini, whose first was also against Newcastle last season, has had his critics during his time at Liverpool and there have been question marks raised in the North-East over the merits of signing him.
However, the promising Italian reminded European football of his potential with his brilliant winner against Newcastle – a goal he is well aware holds great significance. “It’s good to now be a part of the history of Sunderland,” said Borini. “It’s a very proud moment for me. I scored in the Roma derby two years ago against Lazio and this was a similar feeling.
“Maybe they will put a statue of me for scoring the winner in a derby! If we had lost it wouldn’t have meant much, but because we won that makes it even more important.
“I knew it was a very big game and is probably the best derby in England. As a player we’re very fortunate as the atmosphere is so special. The day of the game is really quite unbelievable.”
Borini, pointing out a message on his phone he sent on Sunday morning, actually had a feeling he would do something special during his first Wear-Tyne derby.
He said: “I had a feeling the night before the game that something could happen and there is a text on Vito Mannone’s phone from me, my friends and mental coach too, that says we will win 2-1.
“It was an unbelievable game and we showed that we never give up, unlike in the previous matches. We conceded a goal but kept on going. That’s where my goal came from because we defended really well, came out well, then my first touch was a good one and the second was even better. As soon as I hit the ball I knew it was going in the top corner.”
After Borini, holding a Newcastle shirt he swapped with fellow Italian international Davide Santon, found the net for the first time for Sunderland, he is eager to make his derby appearance to kickstart his own – and Sunderland's season.
Defeating the Magpies lifted Sunderland up off the bottom of the Premier League going in to this Saturday's trip to Hull City.
“It is not about one goal in a game, as the difference will come every day in training if you work,” said Borini. “The manager then has more time to look at me and pick the team for the weekend. It will give me a lot of confidence and I hope it does the same for the team.
“I believe in myself. We talk about things after every game. When we have conceded goals in the past we have talked about it. Sunday it didn’t happen, we didn’t concede any more after the first one and we have to look forward now to the next game.”
He added: “I have had so many changed moments in the past already, so many different teams and different managers. The main thing is to play for yourself, for your team and to better your career.
“I always believe good things are going to happen to me in a game. The main feature of my game is that I am always willing to shoot and to try. I will never give up, even if my team is 4-0 down.”
Having scored such a memorable goal for Sunderland, he sees no reason why there should not be more around the corner – even if he does not repeat the slide on his knees celebration which followed his derby winner.
Borini said: “I wanted to do so many things in my celebration because it is a long time since I have scored. I slid on my knees, saw the fans coming onto the pitch and that is definitely the best feeling in the world, when the supporters are running towards you and you celebrate together. It was just brilliant to feel so much appreciation from the fans.”
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