JACK COLBACK says Sunderland must forget the despair from their Capital One Cup exit and ensure it is Aston Villa – rather than the Black Cats – who see their misery deepen this weekend.
Sunderland’s campaign hit its lowest point at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night after neighbours Middlesbrough denied Martin O’Neill’s men a spot in the quarter finals of the League Cup.
Although it was just a second defeat of the season for Sunderland, the Wearsiders are yet to approach top gear after drawing six of their eight Premier League games and mustering a measly six goals.
But Sunderland face a golden opportunity to put a different slant on the start to their league programme tomorrow, when they entertain O’Neill’s former club who have taken just a solitary point on the road this season.
Colback admits Sunderland need to make amends for their performance against Boro and ensure they head into back-to-back away games with three points under their belts.
The midfielder told the Echo: “We have to look forward ahead to Aston Villa now and forget the disappointment of losing to Middlesbrough.
“We have to make sure we do the business this weekend.
“Tuesday wasn’t good enough and we know that, but we won’t dwell on it too long and we’ll make sure we are up for tomorrow’s game.
“We will have a look at what happened against Boro and try to put our finger on what went wrong.
“We let the fans down the other night and it’s vital we go out against Villa, who have had a stop-start season like us, and get a win, not only for ourselves, but for the fans as well.
“They deserve to see their team playing well and winning games. It’s a match we are looking to take three points from.”
Colback realises that a failure to beat Villa tomorrow would prompt questions over the direction of Sunderland’s season, before the Black Cats have even begun to reach their potential.
But the 23-year-old knows Sunderland need to muster a goal threat after finding the net just once in their last four games – and that courtesy of an own goal from Newcastle striker Demba Ba.
“We can’t let the season slip away,” added the Tynesider.
“To be honest, it feels like we haven’t really started yet.
“We’ve had some good results away from home and we’ve been hard to beat, and losing just one league game is a positive.
“But we need to start playing better and create more chances, as I know we can. If we do that then the points will come.”