Vito Mannone: Sunderland’s relegation battle is like playing in a Champions League final

Sunderland’s only defeats in 2016 have been against sides currently in the top six – Leicester, Tottenham, Manchester City and West Ham.

And while Norwich have to play Arsenal and Manchester United and Newcastle entertain Spurs on the last day of the season, the Black Cats’ opponents – Stoke, Chelsea, Everton and Watford – have little to play for.

Sunderland have lost just two of their last ten games but are struggling to turn draws into wins.

Mannone, however, believes they will come. “We’ve been playing well for a while now,” he added.

“And if we haven’t picked up all the points we deserved, that was our fault really.

“But we’re now out of the bottom three so it’s down to us now. There’s confidence throughout the team and if we do the job right, we’ll get chances to win our games.”

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