Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Larsson fires Wigan warning

Sebastian Larsson (left)

Sebastian Larsson has urged his Sunderland team-mates not to waste their shock 1-0 victory over Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City by succumbing at Wigan.

The Black Cats head for the DW Stadium on Tuesday night for their second game in three days with injuries and illness having taken a terrible toll on Martin O'Neill's squad.

Having pulled out all the stops to snatch three priceless points at the death against City, Larsson admits it would be a major disappointment not to build upon that at lowly Wigan. The 26-year-old Swede said: "Of course it would be, but at the same time, it's going to be an extremely tough game, especially after yesterday."

Larsson added: "It feels like the game is only a couple of hours away, so it is going to be tough. But yesterday, we did what we had to do and put in a good performance and got the three points, and that's what you need to do.

"Now we want to try to win that game as well. We have put some points on the board and we can relax a bit more and try to play with a bit more freedom."

Sunderland will travel to the north-west with O'Neill's resources having been severely depleted by sickness and fitness concerns, a fact which made their victory over City all the more creditable.

Larsson himself spent New year's Eve in bed with a bug which floored Keiren Westwood and Kieran Richardson, while the groin problem which forced Wes Brown off after just 26 minutes added his name to a list which already included Phil Bardsley, Titus Bramble and Michael Turner.

The former Birmingham midfielder said: "To be honest, it's a bit of a crazy schedule, especially with them [Wigan] having one day extra rest. It doesn't really make sense. But I suppose that made the result even more important because it took so much out of us.

"Most of the lads were on their knees in there and really tired and if we had lost the game right at the death, it would have been extremely tough to get yourself going again.

"But now we have got three points on the board and hopefully a bit of confidence, and we can go to Wigan with a little bit less pressure on our shoulders."I

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