Rodwell: Beat QPR and that’s a cracking start

Jack Rodwell. Picture by Corrina Atkinson

Jack Rodwell. Picture by Corrina Atkinson

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JACK RODWELL says Sunderland can reflect on a job well done for the start of the campaign, if they register a victory at QPR tomorrow.

Sunderland have taken a couple of points from their opening two Premier League games, while they progressed into the Capital One Cup third round at Birmingham City on Wednesday.

But, while the Black Cats remain unbeaten this season, they are yet to register their first league victory.

Gus Poyet’s side have a presentable opportunity to break their duck at Loftus Road tomorrow against a QPR outfit who are yet to get off the mark this season, were thumped 4-0 at Tottenham last weekend and crashed out of the League Cup in midweek to League Two Burton Albion.

If Sunderland do take their points tally to five points from three games, £10million summer signing Rodwell believes the Black Cats will have made a solid start to proceedings.

Rodwell told the Echo: “It’s a better start than last season already and if we can build on that and get three points (against QPR), then it’s a really good start for us.

“You want to go unbeaten, but you want to get that three points as quickly as possible.

“It’s still the start of the season and it takes a bit of time to gel.

“But if we can get that win at QPR, we can really build on that.

“There’s pressure on QPR, as there was on Man United last week, so we’ll look to get out of the blocks quickly.

“It’s all about us and if we can play our game, I’m sure we can get a result.”

Rodwell grabbed his first Sunderland goal in last weekend’s draw against Manchester United, as the ex-Manchester City man produced a far sharper performance than on his debut at West Brom.

But the stand-out performer of Sunderland’s opening two league games has been alongside Rodwell in the middle of the park, Lee Cattermole.

Cattermole, now Sunderland’s longest-serving player, has been the driving force for Poyet’s side and Rodwell says the presence of the Teessider in a three-man central midfield is allowing him and Seb Larsson to concentrate on supporting the front three.

“The system is new to me, but I’m sure I’ll get better every game,” added the 23-year-old.

“It’s working well.

“You know when Lee is behind you that he’s going to look after the defensive side of things.

“We don’t neglect the defensive side, but it was nice to get in the box a couple of times the other day.

“There were a couple of times when I could have taken a shot, but I’ll take the one goal!”