Upton Park

Next Game

West Ham v Newcastle

Saturday, 29 November 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Goodison Park

Last Game

Everton 2 - 1 West Ham

Saturday, 22 November 2014, 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.”

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
F365's Top Ten Counter-Attacking Goals

Footer 365

Champions League: Arsenal beat Borussia Dortmund to qualify for last 16

Arsenal beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at the Emirates to qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League.

Champions League: Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both victorious, Monaco win at Leverkusen

Real Madrid won 1-0 at Basel to stay perfect in the Champions League, while Atletico and Monaco also claimed victories.

Champions League: Liverpool share points with 2-2 draw at Ludogorets in Group B

Liverpool drew 2-2 away to Ludogorets to keep their Champions League hopes alive with one game left in Group B.

Mail Box

Mails: Quit Massaging Mourinho's Ego

That's the message from the afternoon mailbox after it was claimed that the Chelsea boss has transformed Cesc Fabregas into a complete player. Plus, more on Arsenal...

F365: Saving You From Bad Relationships

A cracking Mailbox, with thoughts on Chelsea, Willian, Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers and Aguero. Plus how Football365 saved one man from an unhappy relationship...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property