Fabio Borini has staked a claim for a leading role in Sunderland’s latest survival mission after dragging them back from the brink of another defeat.
The £8m signing smashed home a 90th-minute equaliser to secure a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening, in the process pulling the club out of the Premier League relegation zone on goal difference.
The 24-year-old’s intervention came 10 minutes after he had climbed from the bench to replace injured fellow substitute Lee Cattermole and served manager Sam Allardyce with a timely reminder of his prowess in front of goal.
Borini said: “I got 10 minutes, I scored a goal. I showed that I can score goals and give a lift to the team, and what I do is give everything I have in me.
“Even if if it is 80 per cent of my physical abilities at that moment, I give 80 per cent; if it’s 100, I give 100. At the moment, I have 150 per cent to give because we need everyone to give an extra bit to stay up. Probably 100 per cent is not enough, we need to give more.”
Borini’s goal cancelled out the lead former Black Cat Connor Wickham had given the visitors with his second-half double following Dane N’Doye’s deflected opener.
His celebration was as much borne out of frustration at not starting a game since February 2 as it was his elation, and he is hoping he has now given Allardyce something to think about.
He said: “I don’t care if it’s good football or ugly football or lucky football, we need to win games and if we are 1-0 up at 60 minutes, we need to kill the game.
“It doesn’t matter how frustrated I was before the game because every player, if they don’t play as many minutes as they would like to, they get frustrated.
“But what I do is work hard every day in training and if I get 10 minutes, five minutes, 30 minutes, 90 minutes, it doesn’t matter to me, I will give of my best, and the goal shows everyone what I can do.
“But it’s the manager’s decision, obviously. He gave me 10 minutes today and 10 minutes was enough.”