DAVID Vaughan says defeat at Chelsea last weekend will not derail Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland express.
In his first four weeks in the job, the new Black Cats’ boss won the December Premier League Manager of the Month award and January started with three straight victories in a row.
That glowing sequence was brought to an end at Stamford Bridge on Saturday when Sunderland lost narrowly 1-0 in a game they could easily have drawn or possibly won
The grim faces of the players and their manager told its own story as they left the London ground, knowing that an opportunity had passed them by. But Vaughan says the players will quickly put that disappointment behind them this week, in readiness for the visit of a buoyant Swansea side.
“It was frustrating because we went to a place like Stamford Bridge and we could have got something from the game,” Vaughan reflected.
“It wasn’t to be though, so we just have to keep our heads up and be proud of what we have done in recent weeks. We have to make that continue – starting with Swansea.
“Confidence is high in the squad at the moment. The level of performances have been good for us so we have to keep it up and Swansea at home will be a big game for us now because we lost our last game.
“We have to get the points on the board because we have worked hard to climb up the table.
“We have to make sure that we get the results in the next couple of games to make sure we are still looking up rather than down.”
Sunderland fought out a grim, dour draw at the Liberty Stadium back in August and since then the Premier League newcomers have proven they will not be fodder for the big boys – beating Arsenal 3-2 at the weekend to take them above the Black Cats and up to 10th in the division.
But Sunderland’s creative midfielder is still backing his team to bounce back strongly this Saturday.
“We are a different Sunderland to the team that drew 0-0 at Swansea, even though we are much the same players,” he said.
“We can get a good result, I’m sure about that. And three points is in our thoughts this weekend.
“We need to bounce back because we want to get on good runs and avoid the losing runs. Swansea are a really good footballing team. They keep the ball and play football in the right way and it will be a tough game for us because they will be full of confidence.
“We just have to keep up our recent good form though and I’m sure we can do that.”