Sunderland in a depression

Queens Park Rangers' Andros Townsend scores his side's second goal against Sunderland
Queens Park Rangers' Andros Townsend scores his side's second goal against Sunderland
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IT was another bad day at the office for Sunderland today, and manager Martin O’Neill was in no mood to call it otherwise as he raked over his side’s fourth defeat in six games afterwards.

Wonder goals from Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas sealed a 3-1 win for basement club QPR after Loic Remy had cancelled out Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher’s opener.

And O’Neill was left to reflect on a continuing sequence of depressing results for his side.

“It has been going against us for some considerable few weeks now and something has to change,” said the Irishman.

“Something has to give so that we can get back to winning ways and it is up to to us to make it happen.

“It’s a great win for Queens Park Rangers and essentially a great goal that won it for them – which was their second goal, from Andros Townsend.

“That was a really great strike which was hit from outside the penalty area and buried itself in the bottom of the net.

“If I’m being analytical, I felt that when we headed it clear just before that goal we might have closed down better.

“I think it was Stephane Sessegnon, who is essentially an attack-minded player who might have got closer in, but it is too soon for me after the game to analyse.

“Maybe overall we could have been that little bit better defensively.”

The defeat, with teams picking up points below them, means that Sunderland are now back in the relegation scrap.

After taking just two points from their last 18, they have daunting games against Chelsea,

Manchester United and derby rivals Newcastle on the horizon, which throws that much more pressure on next Sunday’s visit of Norwich to the Stadium of Light.

But O’Neill says that never for one second did he really think Sunderland were clear of the scrap below them.

“Since the start of the season it has been tough going for us and now we know we face a real battle in these last nine games,” he said.

“We’ve got fixtures coming up and we have to work hard, we have to really fight hard.

“We have never stopped looking over our shoulders, despite the fact that we know that we’re just a few points away from 10th.

“Now we need to start winning games, it’s as simple as that.”

Twitter @sunechograeme

* Don’t miss the Football Echo – out tomorrow morning – the best buy of the weekend, with Chris Young’s verdict on QPR-Sunderland plus much more, including a packed letters page, in a 44-page edition.