Sunderland ‘must now avoid struggle’

12 May

Vito Mannone and Jermain Defoe

Goalkeeper Vito Mannone kept a clean sheet to help Sunderland beat Everton and secure survival

Sunderland need to use their “incredible” escape from relegation in the Premier League as a springboard to avoid further battles against the drop, says goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

The Wearsiders lost just one of their past 10 games and won two from four before Wednesday’s 3-0 win against Everton sealed their safety.

Local rivals Newcastle were relegated by that win, as well as Norwich.

“We’ve done something incredible,” Mannone told BBC Newcastle.

“But we’ve got to learn now not to put ourselves in the same situation.

“I’m annoyed that we have not avoided it. We’ve got a good squad, a good coaching staff and a good manager – and it needs to be a base for us to push on now.”

Survival has secured a 10th consecutive season of Premier League football for the Black Cats, although this and the previous two seasons have been spent battling against the drop at the tail end of the campaign.

Last season, Dutchman Dick Advocaat came into the club to lead a survival charge, with Gus Poyet having achieved the same feat 12 months before.

“I always have a good feeling, this is Sunderland, before the end of the season something magic happens,” Mannone added.

“We play like finals every game, pressure becomes enjoyment when you turn the pressure into positive results.

“I have to thank everyone of my team-mates and everyone involved with the club and the fans have been amazing.

“When you play top teams like Arsenal, Chelsea or Everton, if you play your way and you have these fans behind you, you’ll do it.”


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