SEB LARSSON admits it’s win or bust for Sunderland now, with anything less than victory against Southampton this weekend potentially proving to be fatal.
Sunderland’s survival hopes have been rocked over the past five days after a draw at Stoke last weekend could not prevent the Black Cats falling into the relegation zone for only the second time this season.
We can’t rely on other teams to lose, because if that happens, we’re downSeb Larsson
It got even worse when Hull pulled four points clear with victory over Liverpool on Tuesday night, although fourth-bottom Leicester at least succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea last night.
With five games to go – the last two of which are dauntingly at Arsenal and Chelsea – Sunderland are running out of time to save their skins, with head coach Dick Advocaat targeting at least another six points.
And midfielder Larsson, back this weekend after a two-game suspension, has made no attempt to mask the gravity of the situation against the Saints at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Larsson told the Echo: “It’s pointless talking about what we might do.
“We’ve done that all season and so far haven’t done it enough.
“Of course, we’re going to target all games, but we realise our last week of the season is very difficult, although not impossible.
“We’ve got nothing to lose. We’ve got to out and win games.
“We’ve got to win on Saturday and do everything to make sure we get the three points.
“You never want to be in the relegation zone.
“But, on the other hand, we’ve been in or around it for a long time now with a few other teams.
“Now, for the first time, we’ve dropped in, so let’s use that; let’s realise that we’ve got nothing to lose.
“We’ve got to win and get out.
“We can’t rely on other teams to lose, because if that happens, we’re down.”
Larsson, who was relegated from the Premier League with Birmingham in 2011, has found it tough to watch from the sidelines during the last two games, particularly last week’s draw at Stoke when he knew both Hull and Leicester were winning.
However, the experience reiterated to the Swedish international that Sunderland have to put some wins on the boards themselves, regardless of how their fellow relegation candidates fare.
“I didn’t watch the game live last weekend, but I was well aware of what was happening at all the different stadiums,” added the 29-year-old.
“I think when you’re not involved, all those scores come into your head.
“It’s a lot more frustrating than actually being on the pitch and trying to do something about it
“It makes you realise that you have to focus on yourselves.
“That’s all you can worry about. As soon as everything else starts coming in your head, you’re all over the place.
“You obviously hope for other results to go your way, that’s always the case.
“But, at the end of the day, you can’t do anything about it.
“We can only make sure we get the points we need regardless of what the other teams do.”