TEN DAYS ago, Sunderland’s hopes of remaining in the Premier League look to be a mere pipe-dream.
No one was giving the rock-bottom Black Cats a prayer of beating the drop after defeat to Everton left Sunderland seven points adrift of safety with six games to play.
But, to their enormous credit, there was no surrender in the Sunderland dressing room.
While Sunderland’s players may have come in for stick at various stages of this campaign, they have proved their commitment to the cause over the last two games after taking four points from Manchester City and Chelsea.
Wes Brown insists it had to be the case that Sunderland maintained their belief in survival until the bitter end, however unlikely that seemed at one stage.
And after giving themselves a second chance of beating the drop, the former England international hopes Sunderland’s relegation rivals – including Sunday’s visitors Cardiff – will be wary of the resurgent Black Cats completing a great escape.
Brown told the Echo: “I’ve always said that from day one, you’ve got to keep battling and giving 100 per cent.
“Whether results go for you or against you, you need to keep that commitment to the club and the fans.
“You have to show them that you still want it.
“Our last two games we were expected to get beat, but we’ve managed to get four points which is brilliant.
“All we can do is keep the pressure on the teams above us.
“If we can do that, then hopefully other teams help us out.”
Brown made a key contribution towards Sunderland’s victory at Stamford Bridge last weekend, as part of a dogged defensive display from the visitors.
Sunderland had conceded 14 goals in their previous six games, yet the Black Cats limited Chelsea to a handful of clear-cut opportunities on their way to victory.
“They had a couple of chances ... when you’re playing Chelsea they’re going to get a few,” added the 34-year-old.
“But, mostly, we did well. We were tight defensively and had a few chances ourselves.
“It gives us a massive chance now.
“We’ve got to go into every game with the same mentality that we showed at Chelsea and hopefully we can get another result.”
* Don’t miss the online Football Echo – available on this website from 6.45pm tomorrow – with the latest in the build-up to Sunday’s big game, plus tomorrow’s live action, the biggest and best coverage of SAFC and much more