Fabio Borini claims Sunderland squad not 'as united' as previous seasons

Fabio Borini celebrates his goal
Fabio Borini celebrates his goal
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Fabio Borini has claimed the current Sunderland squad is not "as united" as those that pulled off successful survival escapes in recent years.

The Italian forward came off the bench to score a 90th minute equaliser against West Ham United, with Borini racing to celebrate in front of the dug-outs and manager David Moyes.

The point does little to help boost Sunderland's survival hopes this season, with the Black Cats nine points from safety with only six games to go.

In a revealing interview, Borini hinted at a lack of togetherness in the Sunderland dressing room, adding that the chronic injury problems this season have been a major factor in the club's struggles.

"It’s harder than the previous time, I think," said Borini in a post-match interview with the BBC.

"We have not been at our level, we have probably not been as united a group as in previous seasons. That’s what probably has been the problem.

"But positive results and performances like today can bring that strength to the group and get everyone together because in our situation, we can only get out together, not individually.

"There has been a little bit of problems within the dressing room, but that’s for us to deal with it. The results, the injuries, that’s all part of being united and keep believing."

When asked to expand on what he meant by problems, Borini added: "We have had loads of injuries, missing players like Lee Cattermole, myself for four months, Jan [Kirchhoff] almost all season, Victor [Anichebe] and Duncan [Watmore] too.

"The list is massive and that has been a problem. We need to train harder now."

Sunderland twice came from behind after conceding early goals in the first and second half to Slaven Bilic's side, with Wahbi Khazri scoring direct from a corner and Borini taking advantage of a mistake by goalkeeper Darren Randolph to salvage a late point.

It was only Borini's second goal of the season. The Italian missed three-and-a-half months through injury at the start of the campaign but his performances have been below par.

Asked if felt he had a point to prove, Borini added: "No because I train hard every day.

"I even train extra at home with a personal personal trainer because I feel like I need more, and to feel 100 per cent, I need to do that. This is the moment to pay back.

"We did it last season us three up front – me, Wahbi and Jermain [Defoe] up front – we did well.

"We just did what we are capable of. We didn’t have to prove anything because we know what we are."