Sunderland will be “really dangerous” opposition for play-off hopefuls Preston tomorrow, believes North End boss Alex Neil.
The Wearsiders are bottom of the table, but Neil reckons Chris Coleman’s men are improving at the right time.
Neil told iFollow PNE: “It’s a difficult one for Sunderland at the moment. However, if you look at recent results from sides who are near the bottom of the table, they’re picking up results now.
“I think it can be really dangerous playing sides near the bottom at this stage of this season because they’re fighting for their lives, they know what’s at stake and they’re running out of time.
“There’s always teams in the league who over-achieve, and you think they’ve done great.
“And then there’s always teams that you look at and think they should be doing better with what they’ve got.
“It’s really difficult as a spectator, as a fan, as a manager or as a coach to put your finger on what the problem is.
“If you look at the collection of players Sunderland have currently got, the majority of them have played in the Premier League, so they have got good players, there’s no question about that.
“Why they find themselves where they are in the Championship table, I’m not quite sure.
“With the players at their disposal, you would think they should be doing better.
“However, if the players aren’t applying themselves properly and go about their work in the way they should be doing then it doesn’t matter how much talent you’ve got.
“Work ethic, grit and determination is a massive part of football. I’m not saying the players there don’t have that, but I’m looking at the players they have and wonder why they aren’t performing better.
“When you’re at the bottom, it seems to be one catastrophe after another and everything seems to conspire against you.”