Sunderland boss on victory mission

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SUNDERLAND Ladies manager Mick Mulhern says he will send his side out on a victory mission this weekend, rather than play the percentages.

The table-topping Black Cats’ quest for promotion will be completed tomorrow if they beat second-placed Doncaster Belles at the Hetton Centre (7.30pm).

Even if they do not, the promotion odds are massively in the Wearsiders’ favour providing they do not lose the game.

But Mulhern says he is not interested in anything other than winning the big game to confirm Sunderland will be playing in the top-flight next season.

“I know all the equations,” the manager told the Echo.

“We’re eight points clear of Doncaster and we’ve got three games remaining, they’ve got four. If we win, we’re up.

“But a draw is not the end of the world – that would leave us eight points clear and Doncaster would then need to win all their remaining games while we’d have a couple of games remaining for us to clinch it.

“That wouldn’t be a bad position for us to be in but I want us to go for it this weekend. I don’t play for draws, I only play for wins and this weekend will be no different.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not daft – our first aim is always to win the match, but then if that’s not possible we look to get something out of it.

“But I just feel we’ve got a great chance to do it this weekend and we should look to finish the job.

“We’ve won our last five games in a row, we’ve been scoring goals, conceding very few and we’ve got home advantage, so it’s a game where you’ve got to look to get all three points.”

Sunderland Ladies have won their league for the last three seasons but Mulhern admits that the fact there’s promotion at the end of this particular campaign makes a difference.

And he also says the girls are desperate to get a win this weekend not just for professional pride but for their fans.

“We’ve won the title three times in a row but on each occasion we’ve clinched it away from home,” said Mulhern, who has been manager of the club for the past 15 years.

“This time it would be great to win the title in front our home supporters.

“That would be the perfect scenario and it would be great if they were celebrating with us this weekend.

“We’ve been in this position before in recent seasons of being on the verge of winning the league.

“But right now is a very exciting time for everyone at the club because if we could win the title again, there’s the thrill of knowing that next season we’ll be playing our football in Women’s Super League 1.”