THE idea of Sunderland becoming embroiled in the relegation dogfight at the bottom of the Premier League would have seemed fanciful just a few short weeks ago.
But Anton Ferdinand insists that’s exactly where the club finds itself after the team’s 5-0 drubbing at Eastlands on Sunday.
“We have to be looking over our shoulders now. Definitely,” he said. “The league is that tight now. But it’s down to us as players to get back to winning ways.
“We need to look at ourselves, nobody else but ourselves, and we’re going to have to do that on Saturday at home to West Bromwich Albion, a team who themselves are fighting for their lives.”
Ferdinand is already looking forward to that match as an opportunity for the Black Cats to put the Sunday shocker at Eastlands behind them.
The 26-year-old centre-half (pictured, below), played right-back in the first-half and left-back in the second against Manchester City. But he was not using that as a defence for his and the team’s performance.
“There aren’t any excuses,” he said. “We’ve all got to look at ourselves and get on with training this week and make sure we’re going into Saturday positive and on the front foot.
“The result says it all. It’s very disappointing – we haven’t been beaten like that for a long time. We weren’t good enough but the beauty of football is that we’ve got another game around the corner.
“We have to sort ourselves out sharpish and get back to the way we were before Christmas. It’s a factor that we’ve been playing the top teams recently but if we want to be a top 10 side we’ve got to be playing against these top teams and looking to get good results home and away.
“That’s what Tottenham and Man City are doing. If we want to be compared with those clubs we have to start performing.
“West Brom is going to be difficult. By no means is it going to be an easy game. They’re fighting for their lives. They’re willing to run the extra mile and if we don’t do that we’ll get turned over.”
H Sunderland supporters have until tomorrow to secure their seat at the Stadium of Light for the 2011-12 season.
Season cards are on sale at discount prices until 5pm tomorrow with the club continuing to offer fans the chance to spread the cost over an eight-month period, with four interest-free direct debit payments. Season card holders’ seats will not be held after the deadline has passed.