KI SUNG-YUENG says Sunderland now need to prove they can beat their fellow strugglers, rather than just upsetting the odds.
Sunderland ended a 17-year hoodoo at Goodison Park yesterday when they halted 10-man Everton’s unbeaten 2013 home record after Ki’s penalty secured a first away win of the season for the Black Cats.
Gus Poyet’s side have defied pre-match predictions in all three of their Premier League victories this season after taking the spoils against Newcastle, Manchester City and Everton.
But with Sunderland facing a crunch trip to Cardiff City tomorrow, midfielder Ki says Poyet’s men need to build on their Goodison triumph by securing a first win of the campaign against a side at the wrong end of the table.
Ki told the Echo: “No-one expected us to win yesterday, but we did. We had the belief among each other.
“We prepared for the game like it was the last game of our lives. We didn’t think about Cardiff, just Everton. Now we can look towards that.
“Everton are unbeaten in 23 at home, so it was a big challenge for us.
“But now it’s very important that we build on that win because we play some teams near us in the table, with Cardiff and Aston Villa (on New Year’s Day).
“These are the games where we should get points from.
“We’re halfway through the season now and every game is huge for us.
“Getting a first win against a team like Everton will give us a lot of confidence.
“We were disappointed after Norwich (last weekend’s 0-0 draw) because we should be winning games like that and West Ham.
“But we’ve beaten teams like Man City, Everton and Newcastle, which means we are capable of winning games.”
Ki was involved in the game’s defining moment yesterday when he pounced on Leon Osman’s loose touch before being brought down by Tim Howard as he rounded the Everton keeper.
Howard was dismissed and Ki took the penalty himself, coolly converting his first Premier League goal to end Sunderland’s four-month drought away from home.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Everton piled on the pressure in the second half, yet Sunderland held on to narrow the gap with the safety mark to three points.
“I just wanted to put pressure on him (Osman) because, even though he’s a good player, everyone can make mistakes,” said the on-loan Swansea man.
“There was pressure on the penalty, but I have some experience of taking penalties, so it was no problem for me.
“I won the penalty so I wanted to take it.”
The South Korean added: “Everton are a top team and even though they only had 10 men, they could still hurt us going forwards in the second half.
“I think Vito (Mannone) was great, as was the whole defence. Everyone played their part.”