SIMON MIGNOLET insists Sunderland have plenty still to fight for this season.
Sunderland face their final game of January tonight having been knocked out of both cup competitions and created a healthy buffer with the relegation zone.
But far from the season descending into one of mid-table mediocrity, Mignolet believes the Black Cats must still aim for a strong Premier League finish.
Martin O’Neill’s side lie just one point off the top 10 and that is now a realistic goal after missing out on their top half objective last season.
Mignolet (pictured) told the Echo: “We’re only one point off the top 10.
“After the cup result, everyone was thinking there wasn’t a lot to play for any more. But there’s still a lot to play for in the table this season.”
Sunderland face a Swansea side in buoyant mood after securing a place in the Capital One Cup final last week by triumphing over Chelsea.
Michael Laudrup’s side, who lie five points clear of Sunderland, have bucked predictions of the “second season syndrome” after a successful first year of Premier League football.
Mignolet is well aware of the danger posed by the Swans, particularly 13-goal top scorer Michu, who agreed a new contract at the Liberty Stadium last week.
But with Sunderland heading into tonight’s Stadium of Light encounter having beaten both West Ham and Wigan, Mignolet sees no barrier towards the Black Cats extending their streak of Premier League victories.
The Belgian stopper added: “It’s going to be a tough game.
“Michu has done very well this season, but it’s not just him, they’ve got a lot of good players and it will be difficult at home.
“But why can’t we get something from the game?
“Swansea play similar to Wigan, they like to keep it down. But there’s definitely a chance of winning and that’s what we have to concentrate on.”