Vito Mannone determined to kick on after turning a corner at Sunderland

Sunderland's Vito Mannone celebrates

Mannone admits he came close to leaving the club.

Sunderland's Vito Mannone celebrates after Lamine Kone (not pictured) scores their second goalSunderland's Vito Mannone celebrates

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone feels that he got some reward for hard work last season, after coming close to leaving the club. 

Mannone was behind Costel Pantilimon in the goalkeeping pecking order at the Stadium of Light, but got his chance under Sam Allardyce.

Sunderland manager Sam AllardyceSam Allardyce

The Italian is quoted in the Chronicle, saying: “I finished the season well last year, and kind of turned the corner from Christmas onwards.

“Now I would like some continuity, and to work as hard as I can to improve myself. That’s my aim.

“Did I think I might have to leave? Yeah, yeah. Obviously while I was training well and not getting the chances, I was thinking that maybe I need to move on.

“The gaffer came in, Sam, and said to me ‘Keep going because you may have a chance’, and once he gave me it that was the turning point for me."

Now Mannone will be aiming to cement his place as the club's number one under new manager David Moyes, and after signing a new contract with the club this summer.

Sunderland manager David Moyes before the matchSunderland manager David Moyes 

He knows that he is going to have to perform well to remain in that role. One thing that was noticeable about Moyes's Everton side is that there were organised and solid at the back, and in the main there was a good understanding between the goalkeeper and the back four.

No mistakes and solid performances would mean that Mannone will be playing the Lions' share of games for the Black Cats this season.

Sunderland's Vito Mannone celebratesSunderland's Vito Mannone celebrates

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch