Sunderland coach Oatway: We want to finish higher still

Charlie Oatway
Charlie Oatway
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CHARLIE OATWAY insists that Sunderland are eager to finish even higher in the table, despite the euphoria over Premier League survival.

Sunderland completed their Great Escape from the jaws of relegation in Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over West Brom, to secure an eighth successive season in the Premier League.

After such a dramatic transformation, Sunderland’s players could be forgiven for easing up in tomorrow’s final game of the season against Swansea, with the main objective already achieved.

But, after victory over the Baggies moved Sunderland up to the dizzy heights of 14th, they could go even further today.

Three points would take them above the 13th-placed Swans and probably over 12th-placed West Ham, who travel to champions-elect Manchester City.

“You’ve got a management group that is greedy,” said first-team coach Oatway.

“We wanted to stay up, but we’re greedy.

“We want to finish with as many points as possible and as high as we can.

“We won’t be taking our foot of the gas.

“Gus looks to win every game, so it would be fantastic to finish it off for the fans.

“Hopefully we get another win and finish 12th.”

Nevertheless, despite Oatway and Gus Poyet’s desire to record five successive Premier League wins for the first time since 1999, there is a note of caution for tomorrow’s game.

Sunderland’s medical team are wary of asking more of players who are already running on empty after their efforts over the last month, with several likely to be given a breather.

“We need to make sure we don’t put anyone in the treatment room for six weeks,” added Oatway.

“They’ve put themselves through hell and back to get stay in the Premiership.

“We need to make sure the doctor gives us the information to say who is borderline on breaking down.

“They deserve to have a good summer with their families and emptying their minds of relegation.”

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