SEB LARSSON says it is important that Sunderland have maintained a slight buffer with the relegation zone at the end of a daunting week of fixtures.
The Black Cats remain two points clear of the bottom three after Saturday’s goalless draw at Liverpool, with boss Gus Poyet now targeting at least a couple of victories from the four remaining games in 2014 against third-top West Ham, derby rivals Newcastle, Hull City and Aston Villa.
Facing the Premier League’s top two – Chelsea and Manchester City – plus a trip to Anfield, in the space of eight days, looked a tough ask on paper for Poyet’s men to add to their points tally.
But, despite the frustration stemming from Sunderland’s continued inability to convert draws into victories, midfielder Larsson believes a two-point haul from those three games is not a bad foundation for the upcoming fixtures.
“It was a very tough week for us,” said former Birmingham City midfielder Larsson, who again impressed in the 0-0 on Merseyside.
“We haven’t really moved in the table, which is the main thing when you consider the games we’ve had and those the others around us have had.
“In that aspect, it’s pleasing.
“We feel we’re going in the right direction. If we had beaten Chelsea and lost the other two, maybe we would have felt a bit down.
“We feel we’ve got a chance now to put some points on the board and sit a bit more comfortable than last year, so hopefully we can do that.
“I think this season we know more about ourselves.
“Sure, there’ll be blips along the way, but I think we’ve come back from them stronger and there’s a thread in the way we want to play.”
Larsson admits there was a sense of disappointment in the Sunderland camp that they didn’t come away from Anfield with all three points after dominating the opening 45 minutes.
“If we had won the game, I don’t think people could have complained too much,” added the Swedish international.
“In the first half, I definitely thought we were the better team.
“For most of it, we were bossing the game.
“I think the most pleasing thing was the way we passed the ball.
“We defended well, obviously, and I can’t remember them having too many clear chances.
“But we’re not overly happy. We’re a bit disappointed that we haven’t got the three points.”
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