Jordan Willis makes bold claim - and Sunderland fans will love it as League One promotion race hots up

Confidence is high in the Sunderland camp thanks to a blistering start to 2020 - and Jordan Willis says there is no reason why they can’t win every game between now and the end of the season.

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 6:05 am

It is a bold claim but one backed up by a recent run of form that has seen the Black Cats win their last three games without conceding a goal, just one defeat in 13 games sees Phil Parkinson’s team three points off top spot in League One.

Willis is part of a defence that has achieved seven clean sheets since the turn of the year with morale, momentum and confidence seemingly growing by the week.

On the promotion race, Willis said: “The confidence is there within the group, and I think you see with the performances and the results that is showing on the pitch.

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Sunderland defender Jordan Willis in action against Oxford United.

“We have to keep going, looking at just one game at a time, looking to keep getting a win in the next game and then going from there.

“You do look at the table, of course.

“But at the same time you can't affect what the other teams are doing, so you have to focus on your next game, and that's all you can do. Our focus is always on winning our next game."

Pressed on whether Sunderland can win all 13 of their remaining league games, a confident Willis said: “I think if we perform to our best, there's no reason why we can't win every game between now and the end of the season.

“There could be some ups and downs along the way, but if we perform to our best day-in, day-out there's absolutely no reason why not.

“The confidence is there now, and perhaps it wasn't at the beginning of the season.

"But back then we were all determined to turn things around.

“We've managed to do that and now we're just looking forward now. We've forgotten about the shaky start, and we're just looking at what's to come now.

“We're adapting to the league as a team a lot better now also. It's not an easy league to succeed in.

“You feel the expectation, it's always going to be there. But at the same time, you have to thrive on that, you can't let yourself get caught up by it.

“When you've got all of those supporters cheering you on, how can that do anything but spur you on?"

Summer signing Willis also had a word of praise for Sunderland No1 Jon McLaughlin, the keeper proving a reliable final line of defence since regaining his place in the team under Parkinson.

Willis added: “He is so reliable, which is a massive help for a defender.

"You can always hear his voice behind you, organising and coming to collect things.

"It helps our back three or five massively.

"Credit to Jon, he's playing really well and hopefully we can all keep it going."