Save our season! Simon Mignolet: Beating West Bron will have us looking up again

Sunderland's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet dives in vain to stop Manchester City's Patrick Vieira.
Sunderland's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet dives in vain to stop Manchester City's Patrick Vieira.
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SIMON Mignolet insists Sunderland can produce the same response as the last time they were hit for five.

The Black Cats head into tomorrow’s clash with West Brom still smarting from last weekend’s 5-0 drubbing at Manchester City.

Sunderland at least know what it takes to bounce back from a five-goal hiding after taking eight points from the four games following Halloween’s 5-1 loss at Newcastle United.

Goalkeeper Mignolet accepts the importance of a similar reply this time around as Sunderland bid to return to the top half rather than being sucked into the relegation scrap.

Mignolet told the Echo: “We conceded five against Newcastle and bounced back well then. Let’s hope we can do it again and respond from the bad run we’ve had.

“The next couple of games are far more important than the one against Manchester City.

“We spoke about it earlier in the week and everyone wants to forget about the game as quickly as possible. It’s tough to forget a game like that but you lose three points whether you concede one or five.

“Maybe we’ll have learned a lesson of what we need to do in the next couple of games. If we can get some points on the board, we can get back in the top 10.

“It’s fairly close in the league, everybody knows that. I don’t think there’s one bad team in the league this season so everybody has to fight for their lives.

“West Brom are a decent team. But if we’re at our best, we’re a decent team too.”

Despite picking the ball out of his net five times, Mignolet was one of the few players to come out of last weekend’s game with any credit.

The Belgian stopper admits he is a different player to the one who faced the Baggies in August’s 1-0 defeat at the Hawthorns – West Brom’s only clean sheet of the campaign.

That was only Mignolet’s second game since arriving in the Premier League from Belgian outfit St Truiden and the 22-year-old believes is a much more confident custodian now.

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“The first few games were difficult for me because you don’t know what to expect,” added Mignolet.

“Now I’m much more confident than I was at the start of the season with the crowd and the atmosphere around the stadium.

“When you come to a new league, you always have to adapt yourself. It’s always disappointing if you concede five as a goalkeeper. You don’t want that to happen.

“But you win and lose as a team. Hopefully we can put it right now and get some points on the board.”