Strong finish important for Sunderland ahead of Championship promotion push

Sunderland defender Billy Jones
Sunderland defender Billy Jones
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There is nothing riding on Sunderland’s final three games - but Billy Jones insists a strong finish is key to helping build momentum ahead of next season’s promotion push.

Sunderland were relegated to the Championship with four games to spare but go into the game against relegation-threatened Swansea City buoyed by the win over Hull City.

Jones opened the scoring with a diving header at the KCOM Stadium and the right back - who has confirmed he is determined to stay and play his part next season - insists a strong finish is important.

“Everybody is gutted and disappointed with the situation we are in,” said the 30-year-old.

“We know our fate, so we are looking to next season and what targets we need to hit to get promoted from that league.

“It would be great to go into next season on a good vein of form.

“Building momentum now is important so when we come back it is positive and there is a good feeling around the place. The fans are that good that I’m sure the place will be bouncing next season.

“We want to be pushing for promotion, the fans will be backing us again and we are grateful for that.

“It is nice to win games, we haven’t done enough of that this season and it was great to get the three points at Hull and good for the fans, who backed the team all the way. We now hope to get another three points for the fans against Swansea.”

Sunderland’s 10-year Premier League stay is over but fourth-bottom Swansea, a point clear of the drop zone ahead of their final two games, are still battling for their lives.

Jones added: “Our fate has already been sealed but it a massive game for Swansea. They got a good home win after seeing us beat Hull but we are looking for back-to-back wins too.”