Liverpool flop Fabio Borini finally got Sunderland's English Premier League campaign up and running with a derby winner against bitter rivals Newcastle on Sunday that he hoped would lift the gloom at the Stadium of Light.
Second-half substitute Borini handed manager Gus Poyet his first win since replacing the axed Paoli Di Canio earlier this month with a stunning strike that secured a 2-1 victory in front of a raucous home crowd.
"We hope that goal can change our season. It was a special game and we can hopefully get a few wins now," on-loan striker Borini told Sky Sports.
"If we play like that we can improve our game. It was an unbelievable moment to score the winner in the derby."
After seven defeats in eight games, Sunderland's first victory moved them off the foot of the table.
Borini, signed on loan by Di Canio in September, has struggled to adapt to English football since joining Liverpool from AS Roma in July last year.
Foot and shoulder problems limited his appearances for the five-times European champions and coincidentally, his only league goal in Liverpool's colours came against Newcastle in the 6-0 thumping Brendan Rodgers's side handed out in April.
Poyet was given a stark warning of the task ahead of him when Sunderland were beaten 4-0 at Swansea last weekend but the relieved Uruguayan hailed the magnitude of Sunday's victory.
"Everything is big today. It's a first win against our biggest rivals in our first home game. The fans are going to be delighted and the players will be relieved. We needed this," he said.
"(The introduction of Borini) was a moment when we needed to take risk. What a goal, the stadium nearly came down.
"It gives us everything. We needed something. Now there are no excuses, we can go next week and win another game and continue to improve."
Sunderland made a bright start and went ahead after five minutes through Darren Fletcher's header, but could not build on the momentum and Newcastle hit back just before the hour when poor defending allowed Mathieu Debuchy to equalise.
"For teams in our situation, when you concede a goal the players would hold for a result. We were talking in the week about not stopping. Conceding goals happens, I'm still looking for a clean sheet and from here we need to build," added Poyet.
Image: Fabio Borini
Photograph: Nigel Roddis/Reuters