Hull City boss Marco Silva says his Tigers side will not underestimate Sunderland tomorrow, as John O’Shea urged his Black Cats team-mates to show their respect for the Premier League and everyone associated with the club.
The Wearsiders are already relegated, but tomorrow’s clash at the KCOM Stadium is a massive game for Hull as they look to stay clear of Swansea in the race to beat the drop.
Silva has warned his squad that it will not be an easy game for the Tigers, but admitted that he hopes to give his side – two points above the Swans with three games each to play – a further advantage in the goal difference column as the season edges towards a conclusion.
Silva said: “It will be a big mistake if we think that it is an easy game.
“I hope nobody thinks that.
“It is a dangerous game.
“Sunderland’s position is not important.
“We need to respect them, if not more than the others.
“Goal difference is important.
“We need a clean sheet and we need to try and score as many goals as possible, but if we win 1-0 it is still good for us.
“I don’t want anybody to think it is easy – if we go this way it is a big mistake. I don’t permit my players to think this way.”
For Sunderland, pride is the key and captain O’Shea has said his men must put on a positive showing.
The 36-year-old centre-back said: “We all have to make sure we have that respect first and foremost for the Premier League and for everyone associated with Sunderland, so that we finish the league as strongly and positively as possible so we can get as many points as we can.
“There will be some very serious situations and other things happening for other teams, so we have that responsibility to make sure we perform.
“If we take chances in games, we’ll get the victories and we have to keep going, keep that positive attitude as much as we can and give the fans something to cheer about.”
The Irishman, out of contract in the summer, has been left frustrated by Sunderland’s inability to rebuild from a Premier League platform and says the side can have no complaints about their position at the foot of the table.
“It’s been a 10-year run in the Premier League that’s come to an end and it’s very sad for everyone associated with it,” said the former Manchester United man.
“Everyone’s been saying for the last couple of seasons maybe it’s a good thing if you go down and you get a chance to rebuild, but you can always rebuild in the Premier League too.
“Now that’s gone we have to focus quickly, the club has to focus quickly and make sure we get things in place to give us the best chance to bounce back as quickly as possible.
“The commitment and attitude has been spot on in the last few games, but our quality in terms of finishing teams (off), taking chances, hasn’t been there.
“The league table never lies and where you finish in the league table, you deserve to be.”