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O'Shea calls for Black Cats to ensure they go down fighting

By Damian Spellman

Skipper John O'Shea has challenged relegated Sunderland to restore some of their battered pride during what remains of a disastrous season.

Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Bournemouth at the Stadium of Light condemned the Black Cats to life back in the Sky Bet Championship after a 10-year stay and set in motion an inquest which is sure to be grisly and have lasting consequences.

But O'Shea, who turned 36 yesterday, is urging his team-mates to go down with their heads held high by throwing off the shackles in the final four games of a soul-destroying campaign.

He said: "Look, it's very raw at the minute. We all have to make sure we have that respect first and foremost for the Premier League, for everyone associated with Sunderland, that we finish the league strongly and positively as possible and we get as many points as we can.

"Obviously, there will be some very serious situations, other things that haven't been resolved for other teams and we have to have that responsibility to make sure we perform like we have been doing.

"If we take chances in games, we'll get the victories. We have to keep that, keep that positive attitude as much as we can and give the fans something to cheer about.

"Obviously today was the final defeat that relegates us, but we've had enough games where you think, 'We need to get that win here today' to get us that push, where you think we get ourselves going, but we also get the other teams looking and thinking, 'Oh, Sunderland are at this again, they're going to get on that run', and we haven't been able to do that."

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