ADAM JOHNSON says Sunderland have run out of excuses for their inability to put a consistent set of results together.
Sunderland begin the final quarter of their Premier League campaign at fourth-placed Manchester United tomorrow, with the Black Cats still to record back-to-back top-flight victories this season.
Persistent backwards steps have hampered Sunderland’s hopes of creating clear breathing space with the relegation zone, with a precarious three points separating the Black Cats from the bottom three.
And with crunch clashes against fellow strugglers Hull and Aston Villa following this weekend’s game, winger Johnson knows Sunderland need to finally put some consistency together if they are to secure their Premier League status.
“To be fair, we’ve been saying about going on a run for a couple of months and it hasn’t seemed to happen,” said Johnson.
“It’s frustrating. We get a good result and then a terrible result straight after.
We need to try to put a bit of a run together like we did at the end of last season and try to give ourselves a bit of breathing space.Adam Johnson
“We need to try to put a bit of a run together like we did at the end of last season and try to give ourselves a bit of breathing space.
“That’s what a couple of wins does.
“But I think the Premier League’s as hard as ever now.”
Johnson should have given Sunderland the foundation for some upwards momentum against West Brom last weekend, only for the 27-year-old to see a goal wrongly ruled out for offside in the 0-0 draw.
“When it is so hard to score and you do get the chance, you expect to be given it,” he said.
But after damaging defeats to QPR and Bradford created a backlash against Gus Poyet and his side, a draw against the Baggies at least quelled the tide of negativity.
Sunderland can also call on the memories of last season’s Premier League victory and League Cup semi-final penalty success at Old Trafford ahead of tomorrow’s trip to a Man United side still trying to rediscover the aura of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign.
“We’ve got a knack of doing well against the big teams so hopefully that will continue,” added Johnson.
“It’s obviously nice to think you’ve won at Old Trafford, but they’re a different team and have got a different way of playing to last season.
“But we want to go there and try to win the game, come out with the positive result that we need.
“I think the fear factor went when Sir Alex Ferguson left, not just for us, but for every team going there.
“They had a bit of a bad spell in transition.
“But whenever you go to Old Trafford, you can’t think it’s going to be an easy game.”