Stoke City defender Marc Muniesa insists that the Potters are “hungry” to beat Sunderland on Saturday and end their miserable run of three defeats.
The Britannia Stadium outfit are keen to avenge November’s 2-0 defeat on Wearside after conceding four goals in successive losses to Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City.
Muniesa, who netted twice when Stoke won a Capital One Cup tie at Sunderland last season, told stokecityfc.com: “We are hungry and want to win the game at the weekend to turn the situation back around – hopefully we can do that.”
He reckons that heads have gone down when Stoke have fallen behind, and says the players just need more belief to overcome setbacks.
“During the week the team is training really hard, but maybe when we concede a goal in a match we need to keep believing because we have the quality to come back,” said the former Barcelona man.
“Straight after the game the players, myself included, are always down, because it doesn’t feel good when we lose and we know we haven’t done the right things.
“But after that you have to think that you have another week’s training, another game, and on the training ground this week I have seen a really ambitious and determined group of players.”
Muniesa has revealed the pain suffered by team-mate Ibrahim Afellay, who has been sidelined until 2017 with a cruciate knee ligament problem.
“He is really sad at the moment, and I saw him crying the other day because he has done his knee again and he knows it is a long-term injury,” said the 24-year-old, who has recovered from a similar injury in the past.
“But he is a strong, professional guy and he will be good for us next season.
“For me, he is one of the best players this season.
“He played most of the games and didn’t have any injury and he has trained every session and showed he is a really important player for us.
“He has had some big injuries in the past, but when you come back you are hungry to help the team to improve and he will be like that.”
Saturday’s game will be Sunderland’s last trip to play at the Britannia.
The ground will be known as the bet365 Stadium from next season.