FORTUNE has not favoured Simon Mignolet over Sunderland’s last two games, writes Chris Young.
The Belgian, almost certain to be crowned Sunderland’s Player of the Season next month, was beaten on three occasions against top four outfits Manchester United and Chelsea – each time via a fortuitous deflection.
Mignolet is not one to feel sorry for himself – stressing that he has simply had to take the goals “on the chin” after analysing the replays.
But the stopper says Sunderland need to make their own luck in today’s Tyne-Wear derby, as they look to bring an end to a nine-game winless streak.
Mignolet told the Football Echo: “It’s been frustrating the goals we’ve conceded over the last two games.
“At Chelsea, it was just the same as it happened against Manchester United with the deflection. When you are in the position we are, those things go against you.
“But there is no such thing as luck in football, you just force that yourself.
“Let’s make sure we force the luck our way against Newcastle because that’s very important.
“I don’t really want to speak about hard luck because it always evens itself out over the course of the season.
“But you’d prefer to be conceding strikes into the top corner, than the goals we’ve conceded in this manner. I still looked at myself and whether I could do more. But I think you just have to take it on the chin and go to the next game really.”
Sunderland have more reason to feel sorry for themselves than just the goals they have conceded.
The procession towards the stands continues for Sunderland’s key figures after Craig Gardner collected a 10th yellow card of the season and a subsequent two-match ban at Chelsea, ruling him out against Newcastle and Everton.
But Mignolet said: “It’s obviously unfortunate with the players we’ve got missing.
“But those players are now working to get back fit and hopefully they can get back fit as soon as possible.
“The lads who are out there on the training pitch have to make sure that we perform as well as we can.
“We have to do it and I’m sure there’s more than enough quality in that dressing room to do that.
“It’s unfortunate there are injuries, but as a team, you’re always going to have that. You just have to deal with it.”