WHEREAS not many people expect Sunderland to get anything at Anfield, Sunderland’s game at home to West Ham United is the opposite in that only a win will be acceptable.
To have any hope of staying up, these are the sort of fixtures Sunderland have got to start winning, as the games are ticking by and time is running out.
West Ham themselves are now yet out of danger, but they got four consecutive wins recently and that gave them a massive lift, just when the pressure on manager Sam Allardyce was being intensified.
It looks as if Andy Carroll is over the worst of his injury problems and if he plays, then John O’Shea and Wes Brown will know they’ve been in a game.
Carroll may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but Sam Allardyce’s whole tactical plan revolves around him and if he gets the right type of service, he will be a big danger.
We are getting to the business end of the season now and Sunderland have got to get their home form sorted out as they seem to have a psychological block when playing at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland cannot afford to add West Ham United to a list that includes Fulham, Norwich, Aston Villa, Hull and Crystal Palace as teams in the bottom half that we failed to beat at home – and also haven’t even scored against!
These are the sort of games where the pressure is on, as the expectations are high and nothing, but a win will satisfy the fans.
The players have to learn to deal with that pressure, as if Sunderland are to beat the drop, then they have got to find the three points they desperately need on Monday night.