Villa Park

Next Game

A Villa v West Ham

Saturday, 09 May 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Upton Park

Last Game

West Ham 1 - 0 Burnley

Saturday, 02 May 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Cats on the brink

Gary Neville says it would take something “incredible” for Sunderland to beat the drop after their defeat to West Ham.

Last Updated: 07/04/14 at 12:09 Post Comment

Poyet: Sunderland boss faces huge task

Poyet: Sunderland boss faces huge task

Gus Poyet’s side lost 2-1 at the Stadium of Light on Monday night and remain four points adrift of safety, albeit with a game in hand over West Brom in 17th, but face four of the current top six in their next four fixtures.

Wigan Athletic made an amazing survival bid in 2011/12 when they won seven of their last nine games – including wins over Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal – to climb out of the relegation zone in the final weeks of the season.

And Sky Sports pundit Neville says it would take something equally remarkable if Sunderland are to get out of trouble.

“On paper there’s no chance. You wouldn’t say there is if you’re being harsh about it,” he said on Monday Night Football.

“Everton at home you wouldn’t say they’ll get anything and the three other games at home (against Cardiff, West Brom and Swansea) are huge for all the other teams.

“They are basically going to have to surprise us at a level that I’ve not seen. Wigan, a few years ago when they went and beat Arsenal and United, were incredible. They went on a run at the end of the season and you thought ‘where’s that come from?’ It was absolutely incredible to watch.

“Sunderland are going to have to do that. Are they capable looking at them tonight? No, but we’ve seen stranger things happen.”

Trouble

Sunderland went behind to Andy Carroll’s early header and Mohamed Diame scored a second for West Ham before Adam Johnson gave the hosts some hope.

But Neville felt their poor defending was indicative of their problems this season.

“It was a bad night for them,” he added.

“I said before the game that what got them out of trouble last season wouldn’t be enough this season. Now they have got themselves in so much trouble.

“When you play against Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan, second balls are absolutely critical. It must be probably the primary thing that Gus Poyet – or any coach that plays against West Ham with those two – must be thinking about before a game.

“They must be alive. When that ball is in the air towards Carroll or Nolan, make sure you’re the first to react and you’re against your man.

“More often than not your first centre-half, who is going up for the ball, will not win it. He’s not going to get a clear header that will knock it 30 yards away, so you’ve got to be alive on those second balls. Those are basic things tonight that have cost Sunderland.

“If you look at all the fixtures to go you’d have to say they’ve got a real massive task to get through those and get the points they require.”

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

still can't see the Phil Jones thing that some people go on about. Whenever I watch him play it's a repeat of headless chicken meets a gurning Bambi on ice for 90 minutes.

diabolicaldiaby
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

P

robably the first list I've come across in a long time where I agree with a large majority of what was written. Can't agree with everything though, Zaba has had an awful season by his standards, I'd put Monreal (a player who I've never rated) up there, gotta give credit where it's due, he's really stepped up his game.

scroteymcbooger
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

S

ome top analysis here..... UNITED WOULD BE TOP IF IT WEREN'T FOR ALL THEM GAMES THEY LOST

benvo81
United Progress Stifled By Bottom-Half Record

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho agrees new Chelsea deal, claim reports

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has verbally agreed a two-year extension to his contract, according to reports.

Swansea's Bafetimbi Gomis could return from injury against Arsenal

Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis could return to action against Arsenal after nearly a month on the sidelines.

Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid: Carlos Tevez penalty hands Juve first-leg lead

Juventus will take a narrow lead into their Champions League semi-final second leg with Real Madrid after a 2-1 win in Turin.

Mail Box

How Is Coutinho Rated Above Cazorla?

We have a mailbox packed full of views on Santi Cazorla, what Arsenal and United need this summer, the idiocy of St Totteringham's Day and rather a lot more...

Arsenal Need Three. These Three...

One mailboxer has the realistic answers to Arsenal's summer transfer needs. We also have plenty more on Newcastle fans, handballs, Chelsea selling and Johnny...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company