O’Shea seeks final flourish for Sunderland

John O'Shea celebrates Sunderland's recent win at Chelsea
John O'Shea celebrates Sunderland's recent win at Chelsea
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JOHN O’SHEA wants Sunderland to sign off their season on a high after confirming their Premier League status.

West Brom keeper Ben Foster admitted the Baggies were “going through the motions” in Wednesday night’s defeat at the Stadium of Light after Pepe Mel’s side had secured their survival last weekend.

But Sunderland skipper O’Shea is keen for Gus Poyet’s side to avoid such a lull in today’s final-day visit of Swansea, as the Black Cats celebrate their remarkable escape from the drop.

“We want to win tomorrow now,” O’Shea told the Football Echo.

“I’m sure the Swansea boys will be wanting to give their manager (Garry Monk) a nice present after they announced he was their permanent manager for the next few seasons.

“But we want to give our fans something.

“They’ll obviously be a lot more relaxed, but we want to give them something to cheer about.

“It’ll be a day to enjoy and reflect on a mad season.”

O’Shea admits to experiencing mixed emotions since victory over West Brom confirmed an eighth successive season of Premier League football for Sunderland.

While the 33-year-old was understandably delighted to have played a part in a stunning turnaround in the club’s fortunes, he questions whether Sunderland should have been in that position in the first place.

“Congratulations is a strange word because it’s something we feel we shouldn’t be near,” he added.

“We’re delighted. The dressing room afterwards was absolutely buzzing but you have to recognise we have to start the season much better.

“If you’re talking about the squad we have, to have one point after seven or eight games, we’ve been having to look up the table for 99 per cent of the season.

“But credit to the squad, the manager and the staff because we’ve stuck to his ideas, especially over the last few weeks.

“If you’d been watching us training or attitude, you’d have thought something had to give for us.

“But the Manchester City game gave us massive confidence and that was the key.

“When you’re walking off the pitch at the Etihad thinking ‘how have we not taken three points’ you’re thinking we can take this on now.”

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