Kazenga LuaLua on Preston defeat and the lessons he'll bring from Brighton's great escape

Kazenga LuaLua has no regrets over his Sunderland move, and insists the experienced players must stick together and lead from the front in the final eight games.

Sunday, 18th March 2018, 9:30 pm
Kazenga LuaLua comes on as a sub in Saturday's home clash with Preston. Picture by Frank Reid

LuaLua left Brighton in January with just six months left on his contract to try to prove himself on Wearside.

Manager Chris Coleman wanted the 27-year-old to play through the middle and add some physicality to the Sunderland front line, but his time on Wearside so far has been hit by a persistent ankle problem.

Fit again and a late substitute in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Preston North End, LuaLua says he will draw on his experiences on the South Coast to try to help Sunderland pull off an unlikely escape.

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He said: “I wanted to come here to try and help the boys. I wanted to come here and I don’t regret it at all. Anything is possible in football.

“When you’re not winning games, the atmosphere can’t be good.

“It is a good group of lads here and we have to stick together. Years ago, I had the same situation at Brighton in League One, but we had experienced players who stuck together.

“People say we’re gone, but it can change in a moment. You have to fight to the end.

“It’s not good for the fans to come in week in, week out, pay their money and we’re not winning games for them.

“The boys are angry – you have to have that when you get beat. It’s our job.

“We have to fight.

“I know it will be tough, but ,at Brighton, we fought to the end and it happened for us.”

LuaLua was left frustrated as lapses in concentration cost his team dear yet again.

The Black Cats are now without a win in 10 Championship games.

LuaLua added: “Where we are in the league, we need points and that’s another disappointing game.

“You can’t give up, there’s eight games left and we need to try and win as many as we can.

“We knew there was an opportunity, with Barnsley losing, as the boys started well.

“For 45 minutes, they we played quite well. But you have to focus for 90 minutes.

“It is the same thing again, sloppy goals conceded in the second half.

“We have to stick together.

“The boys had a few chances, but football is a 90-minute game and we had another sending off.”