Wes Ham’s McCartney wary of Sunderland threat

West Ham's George McCartney in action against Sunderland's Fabio Borini.

West Ham's George McCartney in action against Sunderland's Fabio Borini.

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GEORGE McCartney has warned his West Ham team-mates to beware Sunderland in tonight’s crucial Stadium of Light showdown.

The Black Cats are second bottom in the Premier League table, with just three home wins in 14. But ex-Sunderland left-back McCartney reckons his former club should be higher up the standings, though he is still targeting three points to move the Hammers to the brink of safety on 37 points.

“I’ve watched Sunderland two or three times this season and I don’t think their league position reflects how they’ve been playing, really,” said McCartney, who made more than 200 appearances in two spells on Wearside.

“It’ll be a tough place to go. They have picked up one or two decent results at home against the bigger teams and it won’t be easy, but hopefully we can take a bit of confidence from Wednesday (when West Ham beat Hull) and get three points, moving us closer to the 40-point mark.

The former Northern Ireland international, 32, told West Ham’s website: “If it’s not going well for Sunderland after 20 or 30 minutes, their fans will get on their backs, but it’s down to us to go out and produce a decent performance.

“We need to keep it tight at the back and if we can nick a goal or two, we can come away with at least a point. That would go a massive way towards getting us the points we need to stay up.”

West Ham’s victory was a massive confidence boost and McCartney added: “We definitely needed the win, especially coming off the back of three defeats.

“We knew how big that game was and it has given some breathing space again. We needed the three points – I don’t even think a draw would have been enough with the fixtures we have got coming up. It gives us a big of confidence going into Sunderland.”