Turner denies 40-point phobia after Sunderland’s Man City defeat

Michael Turner
Michael Turner
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RETURNING Michael Turner insists Sunderland possess no complex about reaching the 40-point mark despite going two and a half months without passing the finishing line.

Sunderland have been within one victory of surpassing the survival point since winning at Blackpool on January 22.

But a return of just one point from the last seven games has seen Steve Bruce’s side plummet out of the top half of the table with their Premier League survival yet to be assured.

Yesterday’s dismal 5-0 thumping at Manchester City keeps Sunderland only six points clear of the drop zone and Turner knows the significance of Saturday’s visit of relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion.

Turner (right) told the Echo: “I don’t think we’re worried at waiting so long to get to 40 points.

“We go into every game wanting to win it. To be fair to us, we’ve had some really tough games.

“Even though we didn’t play well yesterday and in recent weeks, we’ve got some fixtures now that we need to get to stuck into.

“We’re facing a lot of teams who are down at the bottom fighting for their lives so we’ve got to get right involved against them.”

Centre-half Turner admits Sunderland were beaten at Eastlands once they had conceded twice within the opening 15 minutes.

Sunderland’s defence was on the ropes during the second half against a rampant City, with skipper Lee Cattermole’s hapless back pass - converted by Yaya Toure for the fifth - summing up the day for the Black Cats.

“We were well beaten after giving away two early goals,” said Turner. “We said before the game to keep it tight early on and we obviously didn’t do that.

“To go behind so early made it nigh-on impossible to come back from.

“It’s difficult enough going 1-0 down, but to concede another one straight after makes it doubly difficult. I thought at the start of the second half we were quite comfortable.

“But then, we gave away another poor goal.

“We were disappointed and frustrated in ourselves with how it went after that. I don’t think City had to be that good with the goals we gave away.

“When you look at them again, we could have done better on all of them. The pass back from Catts probably summed it up. It was another soft one to give away.

“But we’re all in this together and all make mistakes together.”

Turner had barely trained since recovering from knee ligament damage – sustained in November’s Stadium of Light clash with Everton.

But the 27-year-old was thrust straight into the starting line-up after Titus Bramble was ruled out with a cartilage problem – an injury that is likely to keep him on the sidelines for the remainder of the season.

“It’s been a frustrating time for me on the sidelines, but I managed to get the nod with Titus getting a niggle,” added Turner. “Obviously I’m pleased to get minutes on one hand but not pleased with the result.”