Martin O'Neill has lifted Sunderland - James McClean

James McClean celebrates with team-mates after his Sunderland goal
McClean (centre) scored his first Black Cats goal against Wigan

Sunderland winger James McClean has said Martin O'Neill has injected a "new lease of life" into the football club following his arrival on Wearside.

Under O'Neill the Black Cats have picked up 13 points from a possible 18, with Tuesday's 4-1 win at Wigan their third win in four games.

"He's lifted everyone around the club," McClean told BBC Newcastle.

"He's given us all a new lease of life so it's huge credit to him, he's a remarkable manager."

O'Neill replaced Steve Bruce in early December, inheriting a side that had previously won just twice in 14 games.

Meanwhile success at Wigan came just two days after the Wearsiders had stunned Premier League leaders Manchester City with a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light.

McClean lasted 89 minutes on his second start in succession before making way for Ji Dong-Won.

"I actually came off with cramp, but it shows the fitness levels the players have at the club, the character," he added.

"To put in performances like that, with 48 hours rest, it's unreal.

"For Manchester City you motivate yourself, it's a big game, but to come here and beat anybody 4-1 away in the Premier League is outstanding."

Former boss Bruce signed the 22-year-old from Derry City in August, and the winger has subsequently made five appearances, scoring once.

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