Midfielder reflects on Brentford defeat and why Sunderland are struggling so much

Jonny Williams takes on the Brentford defence. Picture by Frank Reid
Jonny Williams takes on the Brentford defence. Picture by Frank Reid
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Jonny Williams admits Sunderland are making it too easy for teams to play at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats fell to their second successive 2-0 defeat on home turf against Brentford, with both the Bees and Ipswich Town taking a two goal lead into the half-time interval.

On-loan Crystal Palace midfielder Williams was a second-half substitute on Saturday as he finally made his return from a shoulder injury.

But he said he and his team-mates must start playing without fear right from the first whistle, starting in tomorrow’s vital trip to relegation rivals Bolton Wanderers.

He says: “You can see why the fans are so frustrated when you look at the team when we have.

“They pay to come and watch us every week. When we play well, they’re the first to get behind us, so we need to make sure we give them that.

“We leave ourselves with a mountain to climb by going one, two goals down and then we have to chase the game.

“That’s when we start to play rather than putting the other team on the back foot straight away.

“A lot of teams have come here and done well.

“Brentford are a decent side and they have been for a few years in this league.

“Every team comes here and plays without fear and we have to stop that.

“They’re enjoying playing here and we need to make it a lot harder for them.

“We need to play with more freedom and belief in ourselves.

“I still can’t believe it when I look round the dressing room at the players we have here.

“It comes down to confidence and belief and we need to find that quickly.

“We know we can beat Bolton – we should have done earlier in the season (in a 3-3 draw at the Stadium of Light in October).

“It is a massive game.

“They’ll be looking at it as a winnable game, just as we will be.

“We need to put away our chances.”

Williams believes that individual errors are the root cause of Sunderland’s perilous league position and says his team must start sharing manager Chris Coleman’s faith in their abilities.

He said: “It does take time.

“When Chris came in at Wales it took time, but we’re running out of that here.

“On the whole, we’ve been better defensively since he came in, but you can’t account for individual errors and we’ve made so many this season.

“I think that is why we are where we are.

“It has cost us so many points this season.

“Chris still believes in us and we have to believe in ourselves.”

Williams had not featured for the Black Cats since suffering a shoulder injury in the 2-2 Stadium of Light draw with Millwall in November, but hopes he can now play a crucial role in the final 14 games of the season.

He said: “It was frustrating for me [on Saturday], getting the ball in the box but it just wouldn’t seem to drop, or it would fumble and the keeper would get there.

“[Aiden] McGeady had a couple of chances and, in a way, that is the only positive – we did create chances in the second half.

“There’s games we’ve won this season where we haven’t created as much, but that is the only positive.

“On the whole, I felt good [on Saturday}. I enjoy playing with these players and we did better in the second half.

“On another day, we could have scored a couple.

“I’m just hoping to play a lot of games now, I’m ready for it and hopefully I am done with the bad luck I’ve had this season.”