It’s fair to say that Nedum Onuoha made a positive impact in his time with Sunderland back in the 2010/11 season.
The central defender signed for the Black Cats on loan from Manchester City in what was the first loan spell of his professional career to date.
Onuoha went on to make 32 appearances in all competitions for Sunderland that season, as they finished tenth in the Premier League table after a hugely impressive league campaign.
Onuoha returned to Manchester City, before eventually moving to QPR in 2012 after catching the eye with some strong performances.
Speaking in an interview with Sunderland Live, Onuoha issued high-praise for the Sunderland supporters, and highlighted a frustrating defeat to local rivals Newcastle as a tough moment in his time with the club.
“The Sunderland fans were great. I think it helped that it was largely a positive time for the club. We had a negative result against Newcastle, and I’d say that was probably in the top ten of my lowest days in football.
“We went into that game full of confidence and should have put on a better performance. We didn’t play well and they capitalised and took their opportunities.”
“At the end of the season we finished above them and that didn’t surprise me because overall, I thought we were the better team. To lose like that, in a game which should have been close anyway, it was devastating. Still to this day, ten years on, I feel it and can’t bring myself to watch it.”
Onuoha is now playing his football with American side Real Salt Lake, and went on to admit that the Stadium of Light was one of the best stadiums to play in.
“But we were doing well in general and when we played at home it’s probably one of the best arenas to play football in the whole country.
“The fans really were right behind you.”
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It’s no surprise to hear him speaking highly of the Sunderland supporters.
They’re often in fine voice up and down the country, and they’ll be hoping they can play their part in the club’s push for promotion back into the Championship this season.
Onuoha really impressed me in his time with the Black Cats, and I was surprised they didn’t try and sign him on a permanent deal after strong performances whilst on loan.
They could certainly benefit from having a player of his quality in their side this season!