Sunderland defender fires warning to Ipswich ahead of 'massive' League One clash
Carl Winchester says Sunderland are well aware of Ipswich’s quality but believes the Black Cats are ready to end his side’s recent slump.
Sunderland have lost their last three league games and dropped to seventh in League One – albeit with games in hand on the sides above them - ahead of their meeting with the Tractor Boys.
Heavy defeats at Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday have raised concerns on Wearside following a promising start to the campaign, when Lee Johnson’s side won seven of their first nine league games.
“It’s important that we put things right on Saturday and we’re all looking forward to the game,” Winchester told the club’s website.
“It’s a massive game for everyone – they’re a good side and we’re aware of that, but it’s about what we do, and we need to get back to how we were playing at the start of the season.
“We know that once we get back to that level of performance, the results will follow.
“The last few weeks obviously haven’t gone how we’d have liked them to, but the lads are fully focused and we’re ready to give it our all.
“The atmosphere has been brilliant at the Stadium of Light this season and I’m sure that will continue on Saturday.”
After signing 19 new players over the summer, Paul Cook’s Ipswich side were also one of the pre-season promotion favourites.
The Tractor Boys failed to live upto the pre-season hype, going six league games without a win, but have improved in recent weeks to move within four points of the play-offs.
Striker Macauley Bonne has already scored 11 times this campaign, helping make Ipswich the division’s top scorers.
But while Cook’s side drew 1-1 with Oxford on Saturday and overcame Oldham in an FA Cup replay earlier this week, Sunderland have had over a week to prepare due to international call-ups and a fixture postponement.
"They signed a lot of quality players in the summer, and we know what they’re capable of,” added Winchester.
“We’ve worked hard all week in training and I’m sure that will show during the game.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to take three points and build momentum ahead of a busy period.”