Stadium of Light is a place teams don't want to come to says skipper

John O'Shea: In Sunderland side today

John O'Shea: In Sunderland side today

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John O'Shea has sung the praises of Sunderland's travelling red and white army - but says it's time for the team to make the Stadium of Light a fortress.

Writing in Sunderland's match programme, Red & White, the Black Cats captain spoke of the phenomenal support the side get on their travels.

"I'd like to say a big thank-you to the supporters who follow us on the road," said the central defender who was in the squad for today's home match with Stoke City.

"Earlier this week, tickets sold out for next weekend's trip to West Brom,. our seventh away day sell out of the season in 10 Premier League games.

"It goes without saying that the players appreciate the support and the determination of the fans, whether it's here at the Stadium of Light or away from home.

"As we did against Liverpool, we need to set the tone and give you something to shout about because once we have the momentum, on and off the pitch, we're hard to stop."

He added: "During my time at the club we've often talked about making our home a fortress and it's starting to become a place where teams don't want to come.

"We've ,lost just one game at the stadium since October and I think we pushed Chelsea more than most so we want to keep that run going this afternoon and pick up our first win of 2017."