Sunderland’s Colback wary of Wigan’s willpower

Paolo Di Canio celebrates with Jack Colback.
Paolo Di Canio celebrates with Jack Colback.
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JACK COLBACK insists history should warn Sunderland that they cannot take the precarious position of third-bottom Wigan for granted.

The Black Cats opened up a six-point margin with the relegation zone after beating Everton on Saturday, while they can also boast a superior goal difference to all of the six teams below them.

But while bottom two QPR and Reading are on the verge of being consigned to the Championship, Sunderland’s camp are still wary of the battle to avoid the final relegation spot.

FA Cup finalists Wigan are three points adrift of Aston Villa – who travel to Manchester United tonight – and six behind a cluster of teams, including Sunderland and Newcastle, on 37 points.

But with Wigan still boasting a game in hand and mounting miraculous relegation escapes over the last two seasons, Colback admits Sunderland must maintain their resurgence away from danger.

“You know what Wigan are like. They do it every year, they produce results,” said Colback, who will hope to keep his starting place at Aston Villa next Monday.

“They’ve got a game in hand and if they win that, then they’re within three points.

“So we’ve got to keep focused and make sure we go into Aston Villa in the right frame of mind.

“But if we don’t lose the rest of the games, then we should be fine.”

Sunderland’s barren run against Everton had stretched back 19 games to 2001, when Claudio Reyna grabbed the winner for Peter Reid’s side at the Stadium of Light.

But with Sunderland fans in boisterous mood on Saturday after the derby win over Newcastle, Paolo Di Canio’s men responded to end the Toffees hoodoo and hand their survival hopes another major shot in the arm.

Colback, who shone in an unfamiliar right-back role, added: “Everton are a good team, a strong team and, playing them in the past, we know that.

“Since I’ve been at the club, I’ve never experienced a win against Everton and obviously a couple of results have been disappointing against them, so it’s brilliant we’ve beaten them.

“It’s great for the position we’re in, that we got the win.

“You could tell the fans were buzzing from the start and that gets down onto the pitch.

“There’s no better feeling in football than walking off when the fans are giving you a standing ovation after a win.

“When you’re not winning games, the fans understandably get frustrated.

“The position we were in, the last thing they want is for their club to be relegated.

“It’s been a really good week for us.

“We’ve got too much quality to be in the position we’re in.We’ve shown what we’re capable of in the last two games, but we need to keep pushing on and you never know where you can finish.”

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