Sunderland’s Gardner looks for Everton response

Craig Gardner

Craig Gardner

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CRAIG Gardner says Sunderland have bounced back once already from a disappointing defeat to Everton this season, and must do it again this weekend.

The midfielder was as shell-shocked as any of his team-mates on Monday to be part of a side which shipped four goals without reply in a torrid second half at Goodison Park.

But he says Sunderland must look forward rather than backwards and look to erase the memory of the Everton battering with a win over lowly Wolves.

“We need to bounce back quickly – like we did after the Everton defeat in the cup,” said Gardner (pictured).

“I think everyone thought we would go to Man City and get a hiding after losing in the cup but we were 3-1 up with 10 minutes to go.

“We have shown a number of times this season we can respond to a bad defeat and we will try and do that again at the weekend.

“Wolves are not relegated yet, so you never know what can happen. They will be fighting for every point, so we need to be on our game on Saturday.

“It is unlike us to come away and lose like that. We are normally had to beat.

“We have shown that against Manchester City and all season really, but we need to move on now and get three points on Saturday.

“We are not just going to draw a line under it, we need to look at some points, watch the video and see what we can do better in different situations.

“However, we cannot dwell on it too long because it is a defeat and when you are beaten, you need to move on to the next game as quickly as possible.”

The 25-year-old admits, though, that the defeat to the club’s bogey team was a big blow.

“The Everton defeat is hard to take, to be honest,” he sighed.

“We went to Man City and we got a great result there, although we should have won.

“We had a good result against Tottenham and if we had gained a result at Goodison it would have been a brilliant three games for us.

“It is difficult to play two games in three days. I am not making excuses because both teams have done it, but fair play to Everton, they worked hard and did well and I would like to wish them all the best for Saturday, when they play Liverpool in the semi-final, as well.

“It works both ways – they have had games on Saturday and Monday as well.

“We have five games left so we just need to win as many as we can between now and the end of the season.

“We don’t have a target, we just want to finish as high as possible.

“Hopefully we can finish in the top eight and if we do that we have had a great season to finish there and get to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

“That is a really good season, but we need to get out there and put it right – starting on Saturday.”