Ki driven on for run-in by Sunderland axe

Ki Sung-Yueng
Ki Sung-Yueng
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KI SUNG-YUENG hopes being dropped from the Sunderland starting line-up will provide a timely jolt to the system.

The on-loan Swansea midfielder has been a fixture in Gus Poyet’s plans, but saw his run of 17 consecutive Premier League starts come to an end when he was relegated to the bench for Wednesday night’s defeat at Liverpool.

Ki paid the price for a poor display at Norwich last weekend, when he was substiuted five minutes before the interval, with the 25-year-old suffering a dip in form after shining during Sunderland’s purple patch at the start of 2014.

But Ki’s second-half introduction at Anfield, along with Adam Johnson, provided the foundation for Sunderland’s late comeback and the South Korean, who netted his fourth goal for the Black Cats, is keen to make a big contribution during the relegation run-in.

Ki told the Echo: “My opinion is that my performance at Norwich was not as good as it has been.

“Maybe, I needed to come out and watch the game from outside the pitch.

“When I came on, I just tried my best.

“Sometimes players don’t perform and they have to go onto the bench. It happens to all players. I didn’t take it badly.

“I want to be more positive after the Liverpool game.

“But what I have to do is help this team to win and get three points.

“That’s it. Nothing else.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m on the bench or out of the side.

“I just want to keep this team in the Premier League. I only have eight games left now (Ki is ineligible for the final game of the season against parent club Swansea).”

Ki was encouraged by Sunderland’s performance against title-chasing Liverpool, particularly after the Black Cats performed so woefully at Carrow Road.

But the former Celtic man realises that points are all that count for Sunderland, with Poyet’s side in dire need of ending their five-game winless run in the Premier League when West Ham visit Wearside on Monday.

Ki added: “I think we gave everything in the last 20 minutes and it was disappointing not to get a point, because we had the chance, with (John) O’Shea, to equalise. Catts (Lee Cattermole) hit the bar too.

“It’s much better than it was after Norwich.

“It’s tough to play against Liverpool at the moment, but we finished the game well.

“But we still lost and didn’t get any points, which is not enough.

“We have to do better on Monday.”

Twitter @youngsunecho

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