Manner of Bournemouth win proves Sunderland squad are up for the fight, says Sunderland coach

Sunderland first-team coach Robbie Stockdale casts an eye over the Under-23s in a recent game.
Sunderland first-team coach Robbie Stockdale casts an eye over the Under-23s in a recent game.
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Sunderland’s long overdue first win of the Premier League campaign proved the squad is up for another survival fight, says first team coach Robbie Stockdale.

Goals from Victor Anichebe and Jermain Defoe sealed a morale-boosting victory against Bournemouth ahead of this weekend’s “massive” game against fellow strugglers Hull City.

Sunderland remain deep in relegation trouble – six points adrift of safety – but ending the dismal 10-game winless streak, the club’s worst ever league start, has boosted confidence.

Any doubts over the player’s determination and attitude were laid to rest at Bournemouth, insists Stockdale – who says that fight shone through in the gritty win.

“Sometimes it’s the way you win games as much as the way you lose them,” said Stockdale.

“On Mondays after games when you concede late goals it feels like a kick in the guts, you can get deflated sometimes.

“Then there are games when you feel you probably deserved more than you got.

“So to win in those circumstances feels better than a normal win.

“It was overdue, we have under-achieved, we should have been sat on more points, that’s pretty clear.

“I thought after we equalised that we played well and were on top in the game.

“If you watched Match of the Day or other broadcasters it might not have looked like that, but we had a good spell of football.

“Overall, yes they missed chances and you are always going to have to ride your luck when you are down to 10 men, but on the other side of it, I think people have questioned the determination and attitude of the players.

“But I think both shone through, the players are right behind the staff and the staff are right behind the players.

“We now have a massive game coming up.”

Bottom-of-the-table Sunderland face Hull at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, with the Black Cats looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since May.

Stockdale insists the backroom staff work hard to instil a positive mindset at all times – with the former Under-21 coach stamping that message on the players from a young age.

“The place is lively at the moment but you try to maintain that mood no matter what,” said Stockdale.

“One of the mantras I’ve tried to use when I worked with the Under-21s was ‘never get too high, never get too low, try maintain a constant belief and attitude’.

“It’s about trying to make yourself better and we’ve tried to put that into the first team.

“Of course sometimes you come in disappointed, but you can’t let that linger you have to dust yourself down and go again.

“Bournemouth was fantastic, there’s a little bit of a buzz, not that we’re getting carried away, of course we’re not, but it’s a start and a start that’s been overdue.”

Moyes served a one-game touchline ban at Bournemouth, overseeing proceedings from the director’s box at the Vitality Stadium.

He was in contact with Stockdale, who said watching the game from the stands offers a different perspective for managers.

Stockdale said: “It’s not the biggest of stands so a couple of times I turned around, his glare was on me, so I stopped turning around so many times!

“It worked quite well in the end, we had Mark Boddy relaying the messages from the manager to me.

“One of the advantages of sitting in the stand is you do see the bigger picture if you like. It did work and we came away with three precious point.

“I did take it out a couple of times, but that was only because I could hear Bodds in my ear when I was giving instructions to lads coming on and I wanted to make sure they got clear instructions with no distractions.

“It worked both ways though, I could see things on the pitch, how players were feeling which was passed up to the manager.

“It was a two-way thing, it was not just a case of him talking to me.”