Here’s what the Echo was reporting 10 years ago.
HYSEN: HANG ON IN THERE!
Unbeaten run is building a solid platform
Toby Hysen says Sunderland’s “smash-and-grab” point at Wolves on Friday could have set them up to continue the good work at QPR tonight.
The Swedish winger reckons the draw at Wolves could be one of the most vital results of the Wearsiders’ season as it underpins the unbeaten run he wants this side to go on.
Sunderland had to dig in against Wolves to snatch a point which often looked unlikely. The result kept the Wearsiders undefeated in three games and the 24-year-old says that the determined streak in the current Black Cats side might have set them up for the game ahead.
He said: “Sometimes a point can feel like it’s worth three points and sometimes a point can feel like a defeat. When Southampton equalised against us in the last minute of the game a couple of weeks ago, the lads felt the same as if they had lost in the dressing room afterwards.
“But against Wolves we probably dug out a point away from home that we barely deserved. And the fact we have that desire to keep on going right to the end of the game and not give up could be very important to us.
“Getting something at Wolves means that we’ve now gone three games unbeaten. And although that’s not a particularly long run, it is a start and not getting beaten builds confidence.
“We’ve got Queens Park Rangers tonight which is another away game, but if we are equally as stubborn against them, then we shouldn’t get beaten and then we go into two home games after that.
“It’s great having three points for a win because it means you climb the table quickly if you put a few good results together. But if we’re going to do well in this division we have to put together runs whereby if we don’t win we at least draw.
And it will be picking up those odd points along the way which will help us climb the table so much more.
“At the moment we’re hanging in there just a few points off the pace but an unbeaten run would start closing that points gap. We’re fully aware of that and we see QPR tonight as another chance to get something which will improve our position.
KEEP THE BALL AND STOP BEING SLOPPY – KEANE
Roy Keane says Sunderland have to stop being their own worst enemies – especially away from home.
The Black Cats’ boss took his team to London today to face Queens Park Rangers. And he has warned them that they must focus more when it comes to their own game.
He said: “We have to avoid being too sloppy with our passing, especially away from home. I watched the video of our game against Wolves on Friday night and although we played quite well in places, we’ve tended to be our own worst enemies when it comes to giving the ball away.
“Sometimes you can’t help conceding possession, but in our case, we are giving the ball away far too easily.
“And what’s worse, we are giving the ball away in dangerous positions and risking getting hurt as a result. We’ve had a chat to the players and told them that it is important that we improve that area of our game because that’s an area where it isn’t the opposition hurting us, it’s us hurting ourselves.
Rangers, like Sunderland, had a bad start to the season before picking up after the appointment of John Gregory in September.
And Keane admits they will be tough opponents on their own turf.
But he says his players have got to focus on extending their current three game unbeaten run tonight ahead of two home games coming up.
He said: “QPR are a big strong physical side and that’s a department that we will need to match them in.
“It’s unfortunate that Chris Brown is out with injury and we still don’t know whether or not Daryl Murphy will be available. But we can still compete, like we did against Wolves, and if we do that, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t get a decent result down there.”