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Feb 1, 2013

Graham out to win fans over

Danny Graham is convinced he can win over the doubters at Sunderland by giving his all on the pitch and scoring goals.

• Blog: Sunderland fail to build

The Sunderland fans chanted "You're nothing but scum" at their £5 million signing just days before he moved to the club, due to his being born in Gateshead and his allegiance to fierce rivals Newcastle.

Despite the tough reception, the former Middlesbrough striker told The Journal: "As soon as I heard about the interest from Sunderland I didn't even have to consider any other options. I've got to give my all on the football pitch, score some goals and show them I want to be at the club and do well for Sunderland.

"I'm sure if I can do that, the fans will be on my side and we can all push on together. It is a good challenge for me. It is a massive club, you can see that by the stadium, the facilities and the fan base. Everything is right for it to be in the top half and higher."

Graham, 27, also revealed he is confident of becoming a success at the Stadium of Light because he has the approval of manager Martin O'Neill.

"The fact he wanted me at the football club was a major factor. Most players want that reassurance," he said.

O'Neill believes his new No.9 will fit well into the system at Sunderland despite it being more direct than at Swansea where Graham netted 21 Premier League goals in 18 months.

"He played very well at Swansea. They had a system that seemed to suit him," O'Neill told the club's official website. "I think he can do well and score a few goals for us. With the wide men we've got at the club, there is plenty of ammo for the strikers to feed off. I'll be looking to get him into the box as often as I can."

Graham was the third and final arrival at Sunderland in the January transfer window and could make his debut in the Premier League game against Reading on Saturday.

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