Sunderland boss Alex Neil has clear message as his side face up to tough Sheffield Wednesday second leg

Alex Neil says he is confident his Sunderland side can stand up to a tough test at Sheffield Wednesday on Monday night.

By Phil Smith
Saturday, 7th May 2022, 8:42 am

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The Black Cats will take a slender advantage to Hillsborough after Ross Stewart’s goal just before half-time in front of a crowd of over 44,000 at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland had chances to extend their lead further after the interval but Darren Moore’s side held on and finished the game in the ascendancy.

Neil’s side have not lost a game away from home since he took charge and while the head coach says his team understands the scale of the challenge that will await them in front of a sold-out crowd, he is confident that they can deliver.

Sunderland boss Alex Neil

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“It’s certainly not going to be easy,” Neil said.

‘We know how tough of a game it’s going to be but there’s a big prize at the end of it.

“You could see with the lads effort tonight how desperate they are to do well for this club and for themselves and each other. All we can do is go there and do our best and we will do our best.

“We’ll be organised, we’ll know exactly what we are trying to do and we’ll carry it out as best as we can. If we continue to do that then there’s no reason why we can’t go there and get a result.

"We know it’s going to be doubly-difficult on Monday night because they will do likewise in terms of the atmosphere.

"I’m confident in this group, and hopefully people can see that.

"I’m not fearful of going anywhere, we’ve been to big stadiums and won, the players have performed very well since I’ve been here.

"We carry a threat and we’re defensively solid. It’s not going to be easy but there’s a lot to like [about us]."

Neil is keeping his cards close to his chest regarding Nathan Broadhead’s injury, with the Everton loanee missing the first leg.

The head coach said that the 24-year-old had a chance of featuring in the return fixture but he clearly remains a major doubt.