Date: 20th January 2012 at 11:07pm
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New Sunderland boss Martin O’Neil praises Swansea City ahead of Saturday’s game at the Stadium of Light.

O’Neil believes that the Swans, along with fellow new-boys Norwich City are good enough to be looking at a top-half finish, rather than worrying about finishing low near the bottom three.

Sunderland have shown an instant improvement under O’Neil following Bruce’s sacking, and the Swans will find it tough to record only their second away win of the season.

O’Neil said:

‘They play attractive football and have gained the results to go with that, which gives them a great belief in themselves,’

‘From that viewpoint, I get the feeling there is a natural exuberance that carries them on a great deal further than perhaps they would expect.’

‘I suppose you could say that Blackpool were going strongly at this point, but then had a few issues to contend with in the January transfer window where it looked as if some of their top players might leave,’

‘That caused consternation and I’m not sure they really recovered from that.’

‘But I don’t expect the same thing to happen with Swansea and Norwich at all. They will be looking at the top half of the table rather than the bottom.’