McCartney happy with Sbragia

23 February 2009 04:21
Sunderland defender George McCartney believes the team is currently playing better football than they ever managed under Roy Keane's stewardship. Since Ricky Sbragia replaced the former Republic of Ireland international in December, the Black Cats have been beaten only four times in 14 matches, and McCartney says the squad is now much happier and more relaxed. He told the Sunderland Echo: "We had a shaky period under Roy Keane when we didn't win for about seven matches, which dragged us towards relegation. "But, in the last four or five games under Ricky, we've started playing better football and got more confident with each match we've played - and that showed against Arsenal. "It's good to be looking above us, rather than below, all the time. Having a happy dressing room is always a base to build on. "If the team spirit is low then, when you go out on to that pitch, you're not really going to achieve anything. "I think, under Roy Keane, the lads were a bit disheartened and he went about things differently from the way Ricky does. Ricky's given the lads self-belief again."

Source: ESA