Why Sunderland have nothing to fear from Watford ahead of crunch Stadium of Light clash

Sunderland have what it takes to go on another winning run and have nothing to fear from Watford, insists Fabio Borini.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:06 am
Fabio Borini

The Black Cats started the season with a record-breaking 10-game winless run but looked to have turned their campaign around with three wins in the space of four games.

But back-to-back defeats to Swansea City and Chelsea see Sunderland four points adrift ahead of the visit of Walter Mazzarri’s Watford, who sit nine places and 10 points better off.

“Again it is going to be a very tough game,” Borini said.

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“They have a manager with very clear ideas about how he wants to play football.

“We need to be aware of what they will do and focus on ourselves. We are capable of stringing together another run like we had recently.

“We lost 1-0 against Chelsea who are top of the league.

“We could have got a point from the game, there are positives to take and Watford shouldn’t scare us.”

He added: “Watford is one of our competitors in the league and that is where we need to get the points, especially at home.

“We showed that against Hull City and Leicester City and that is the same kind of attitude that we need to put out on the pitch.

“The football will come because we train well and we are able to play football.

“It was a tough start [to the season] but now it is over and we have won games since. The first 10 games have gone.

“We still have 22 games left to play, that is what we have to focus on.”

Antonio Conte’s Chelsea recorded their tenth straight win thanks to Cesc Fabregas’s 40th minute strike at the Stadium of Light.

David Moyes’ injury-hit Sunderland side was missing Victor Anichebe and Steven Pienaar, with Duncan Watmore, Lynden Gooch, Paddy McNair and Lee Cattermole on the long-term injury list.

Sunderland pushed Chelsea all the way and could have snatched an equaliser, Thibaut Courtois brilliantly denying Adnan Januzaj and Patrick van Aanholt.

“He saved the three points for them on two occasions, with Patrick and Adnan,” added Borini.

“Maybe a draw would have been fair.

“They played well first half and we played better second half and had a couple of chances.

“They are top of the league because they have top players, it is not just down to their system.”

Borini had one effort second half on his return to the starting line-up but it sailed over the crossbar.

“The finish wasn’t down to lack of match fitness, it was only half a chance,” added the Italian.

“I had a lot of defenders in front of me so I tried to put it over them, it was too much on it though.

“In these games you run so much and cover so many positions because it feels like they are playing with 13. You need to cover so many positions.

“You lose a little bit of sparkle when you have the ball because you have had to run so much to cover the whole pitch.”

Borini is set for an extended run given the season-ending cruciate knee ligament injury to Watmore, with Borini the most similar in terms of energy levels.

“We are sorry for Duncan, of course,” added Borini.

“He is young and those kind of injuries can be tricky sometimes.

“But if he recovers like others have then he will be fine. He is a very hard working boy.”