PHIL Bardsley counselled Sunderland to keep their nerve after a 0-0 draw against Fulham at the weekend.
The Black Cats have won only one home game in half-a-dozen now, only three all year and the desperation on the terraces for another victory at the Stadium of Light is palpable.
But with home games coming up against Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers and an away trip to Wolves sandwiched in between, Bardsley is confident the points will come.
Bardsley, who switched to left-back against Fulham to accommodate the fit-again John O’Shea, said: “We need a little bit of patience.
“We’ve been playing some good football, it is clicking slowly and we will get that win we want.
“The league is so close that a couple of back-to-back wins and you can get up the league.
“We have Wigan first, then Wolves, then Blackburn at home – a run of games where we have to get points on the board.
“So we’re looking forward to next week, but we just have to be patient.
“We have good enough players on the pitch to go and win games and we’ll go into next week with the same attitude as we did against Fulham.
“We hit the woodwork twice and had a great chance at the end and they only had a free-kick, a breakaway and one shot at the end.
“On the whole, on the plus side, we looked solid, created chances and deserved to win and on top of that, it’s another point on the board.”
Bardsley shared the frustration of the fans that the three points that appeared to be there for the taking were not taken.
But he knows that it is wrong to assume that teams in and around Sunderland in the bottom half of the division are going to be easy meat.
“People think these teams will just come and roll over, but they have top players in their teams, international players, which is why the Premier League has improved so much,” added the Scotland international.
“You get top-quality opposition and you have to find a way to break them down.
“We would have preferred three points, but at least we live to fight another day.”