Cuellar confident Sunderland can avoid struggle

Carlos Cuellar

Carlos Cuellar

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CARLOS CUELLAR insists Sunderland’s defeat at Everton shouldn’t be a sign that the Black Cats face a season of toil.

The Black Cats succumbed to a third successive loss on Saturday after surrendering a half-time advantage at Goodison Park.

Sunderland’s return of just nine points from their opening 10 Premier League games – which has left them fifth bottom in the table – has prompted inevitable concerns over their prospects this year.

But centre-half Cuellar says the manner of Sunderland’s display against the Toffees shows the Wearsiders can still enjoy a successful campaign.

Cuellar said: “People are going to be disappointed by this defeat and people are going to think we will struggle this season, but inside the dressing room we’re confident.

“We were very unlucky not to pick up a point or three against one of the tough teams. Everton have done so well this season.

“Once one win comes, more will follow. The confidence is high, we believe in the team, we believe in each other, we know how good we can be.

“Sometimes you can play well and get nothing and sometimes you don’t deserve a result yet you get one. We have to keep going that way, because the performance was one of the best of the season so far.”

Sunderland were much-improved as an attacking force on Saturday and Adam Johnson became the first Black Cats player other than Steven Fletcher to find the back of the net this season.

But quick-fire second half goals from Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic continued Sunderland’s 16-year wait for a victory at Goodison.

Martin O’Neill’s men have only collected two points from their last six league games, although Cuellar is not too concerned by the statistics.

“I think the team and the players are still positive,” added the Spaniard.

“We can go forward and get better as we’re playing good football.

“I know the statistics. We’ve been unlucky in some games, we lose points in the last minutes.

“But the statistics don’t always show the truth of how the team are playing.

“They’re just numbers. We’re going to get better and we’re going to break that statistic.

“We’re disappointed because we lost the opportunity to pick up a win against one of the best teams this year. Let’s see what happens in the next game.”