Next Game

FC Astra v West Ham

Thursday, 06 August 2015, 19:00

Europa League Qual Third Round

Last Game

West Ham 1 - 2 W Bremen

Sunday, 02 August 2015, 15:00

Friendly Match

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

G

ood lord that's got me unnecessarily excited. Damn you Storey. Cut to Liverpool being crushed under the wheels of Sparky's Stoke Machine and Firmino brought off the bench to no effect. It's the hope that kills you.

suarez_blind
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

N

o Schweini? Have to admit that I did a little sex wee when we signed him and I can't wait to see him in action!!!

spence
F365's Top Ten Players We Can't Wait To Watch

I

think he'll do quite well. My only reservation would be Kagawa, who had similar stats to Firmino in the bundesliga before he came, but time will tell.

GVMUFC
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

Footer 365

Manchester City agree £14m fee with Roma for Edin Dzeko

Sky sources understand Manchester City have agreed a £14m fee with Roma for striker Edin Dzeko.

Liverpool's Jordon Ibe says he needs more end product

Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe says he must be looking contribute a goal or assist in every game he plays.

Liverpool have no interest in Barcelona's Adam Traore

Despite reports to the contrary, Liverpool are not interested in signing Barcelona winger Adama Traore.

Mail Box

Louis Van Gaal Only Wants Football Robots

Louis van Gaal only wants players who are human robots, apparently. It's a great Mailbox, with thoughts on Chelsea, Audi Cup, Fabregas, Lingard and Joe Gomez...

Is Jack Wilshere The New Diaby?

This was supposed to be his season but he is already injured. We have mails on Chelsea, TV football, why Raheem Sterling is worth more than ADM and more...

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