O’Shea: Sunderland must handle heat against West Brom

John O'Shea
John O'Shea
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JOHN O’SHEA insists Sunderland must handle the heat this weekend after reaching the depths at Carrow Road.

Sunderland host West Brom on Saturday amid renewed scrutiny after Monday night’s 2-1 defeat against newly-promoted Norwich City.

The loss against the Canaries swiftly banished memories of the 4-0 victory over Stoke City in the previous home game, with the Black Cats succumbing to their third defeat out of six in the Premier League this term.

Right-back O’Shea said: “There is no extra pressure on Saturday because every game in the Premier League is a tough one.

“At home you are the favourites, but we have to perform under that pressure.

“That is what we will be looking to do again.

“It is how you bounce back from difficult nights like at Norwich and show what players you are to cope with that pressure.

“I wouldn’t say it is back to square one after losing, but it is disappointing and we are not trying to hide the fact.

“We went to Norwich very confident of getting the three points, but we didn’t perform well enough to get those.”

O’Shea, skippering the side for the second time at Carrow Road, admits Sunderland cannot afford to continue showing such vast degrees of inconsistency.

Sunderland were solid at the back and dangerous going forward against Stoke, but showed neither aspect on Monday.

“The consistency is what we need to find. Some of the performances have been good and others have been so bad,” added the 30-year-old former Manchester United man.

“We have to find that level that we know the players are capable of.

“There is no better opportunity than at home to West Brom.

“It is an opportunity to bounce back from the poor performance and we will be looking to do that.

“We needed better quality ball into the strikers at Norwich and that is where we let ourselves down.

“We are not creating too many clear-cut chances and we are not testing out back fours either.

“We know we need to improve on it, but the players and everyone behind the scenes are working hard to make it happen.”