SEB LARSSON insists he is banishing any memories of relegation to ensure Sunderland avoid that fate.
Larsson is one of five members of the Black Cats squad – alongside Steven Fletcher, Craig Gardner, David Vaughan and Matt Kilgallon – to have experienced the pain of suffering the drop from the Premier League.
The Swedish international was part of the Birmingham side relegated from the top flight in 2011 after lifting the League Cup just three months earlier.
But Larsson is not dwelling on the prospect of lightning striking twice, stressing that Sunderland have more than enough quality to register the necessary points for survival, despite dropping to fourth bottom after Saturday’s results.
“It might help us that some of us have been through this before,” said the 27-year-old.
“Whether that has a positive or negative effect, you can never tell. You can only speculate about that.
“We’ve got to focus on ourselves and get back to what we did in the previous three weeks before Aston Villa.
“Of course you don’t want to experience relegation again, but I’m not thinking about that to be honest.
“That’s in the past and this is a completely different situation.
“I’m at a different stage of my career and at a different club.
“We’re in a situation we shouldn’t be in and we’ve given ourselves a good chance to get out of it.”
Larsson’s focus on the positives extends to Sunderland’s current form.
While the midfielder has not forgotten the pain of last Monday’s rout at Aston Villa, he is eager to dwell on the quality displayed by Paolo Di Canio’s side in the back-to-back wins over Everton and Newcastle.
Larsson added: “The gaffer said when he came in that the last seven games were all cup finals until we get to where we need to. Hopefully that is Monday night.
“We’ve put in some terrific displays, beat Newcastle away and beat a very strong Everton side at home.
“And then on the other side, we went and lost to Aston Villa 6-1. If you don’t turn up, you’re going to struggle.
“It’s going to hurt a lot after a performance like that and it does, trust me.
“But we’ve got to remember the positives from previous weeks and what we can do and how solid we’ve been.
“There’s no reason we can’t get back to that.
“We’ve got to focus on our own performances.”