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The Sunderland defender, who was impressive on Sunday as the Black Cats beat Manchester City, says that he was always confident of returning despite a 22-month absence

Sunderland defender Wes Brown says that he never thought of quitting football despite a nightmare injury lay-off.

The 34-year-old had been out of action for nearly two years before returning to the side with a fantastic defensive display against title-chasing Manchester City on Sunday.

The former Manchester United man explains that he focused on positivity throughout his absence and is now keen to prolong his newfound form.

"Did I ever think: 'You're finished?' No. I'm a bit weird," Brown told reporters. "I've always just carried on!

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"I never really felt any terrible negative thoughts, even though I'm getting older now. There was no point in being negative, you just have to keep going and keep working hard. I just thought to myself: 'This is one of those things'. And anyway, I like it here.

"When I'm fit, I only want to get in the team and play well but I just needed to get fit. For instance, this summer I did all pre-season but then I got injured again so there were lots of ups and downs. I've had a good run of games now, also in the reserves, and I can just keep going."

Brown added that the appointment of Gus Poyet has brought him and his team-mates together after a troubled period under Paolo Di Canio.

"The lads are back together now and there is a good spirit among the group," he enthused. "The gaffer has got us playing football and I think, once everyone gets a bit of confidence from doing that, we can do a bit.

"Beating City was a big win and one we really needed. No-one probably expected it but we have been doing well in the last few weeks and the lads believe."