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Sunderland boss eyes climb up table

Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill

MARTIN O’Neill hopes Sunderland can emulate their opponents this weekend by setting off on a run which will see them climb the table this month.

The Black Cats face Norwich City this Sunday, followed by a home game to erratic Chelsea next weekend and the re-arranged fixture against struggling Reading a week Tuesday.

And the Black Cats boss says he and the team have to do everything to try and put together some sort of run from the games ahead.

He told the Echo: “We got a point against Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday – we were disappointed we didn’t win the game but at least we weren’t beaten.

“Now we go to Norwich with the chance to extend that unbeaten run – though we’ll be looking to take all three points – and beyond that we have games coming up where we would like to just keep picking up points.

“That is important and I think Norwich have shown a great recent example of the value of that.

“They had a poor start to the season and were right down there but they’ve now gone on an unbeaten run of seven games which has carried them up the table and given them confidence.”

Norwich have won their last three home games in the league 1-0 and a fourth clean sheet in a row would be their best top flight record since the Premier League was created in the early 1990s.

And O’Neill puts some of the credit for that on the fact that Norwich have worked so hard to ensure they were difficult to beat.

“You can’t underestimate the importance of remaining unbeaten and putting together a run like that – it has helped give Norwich for example a durability,” he said.

“I think they realise the value of runs like that where they avoid defeat too.

“The night after our game against QPR, I was at Norwich and was taking to people who were saying they would be delighted to get something out of the Southampton game, just to keep that run going.

“Southampton were buoyed by their win over Newcastle and they were a better side than they have been previously.

“And both sides kept that run going – which was important to them.

“I think that we have to look to try to get on a run and keep it going like they have done. The QPR result wasn’t we’d hoped for but if we can get a run going from it and keep ourselves unbeaten then other things will begin to get resolved.”

 

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