MARTIN O’NEILL says Sunderland cannot become complacent about a more appealing run of fixtures.
Sunderland’s last three Premier League games have been daunting ones, with the Black Cats hosting top four outfits Manchester City and Spurs, along with a trip to Liverpool.
Although Sunderland managed to secure a victory over reigning champions City, just four days after a crucial win at fellow strugglers Southampton, they head into tomorrow’s visit of West Ham having suffered back-to-back defeats against Spurs and Liverpool.
On paper, though, the next few weeks provide an opportunity for Sunderland to increase the four-point margin with the relegation zone.
Sunderland tackle three bottom half sides in West Ham, Wigan and Reading, along with a Stadium of Light encounter against a Swansea outfit facing fixture pile-up with the first of five games inside 17 days tomorrow.
But with Sunderland still in a precarious situation and not blessed with a huge squad, O’Neill insists the Wearsiders cannot take anything for granted in the upcoming games.
“We’ve put some points on the board with two very important wins over Christmas,” he said.
“But I don’t take a group of games into consideration because it never works out how you think.
“Because of our position and our squad size, I’m not so sure I can look that far ahead.
“We go into the West Ham game tomorrow and just give it everything. We know what we’re up against and we’ll have to fight every inch of the way with no respite in the game.
“Only then can you start looking ahead at what we’ll have available for Bolton on Tuesday night in the FA Cup and Wigan after that.
“These are very important games for us though.”