Belfast Telegraph

Black Cats must bounce back against Watford - Fabio Borini

Fabio Borini is targeting victory over Watford as Sunderland attempt to get their latest Premier League survival mission back on track.

The Black Cats went into Saturday's trip to fellow strugglers Swansea having won three of their four previous games to give themselves hope of dragging themselves out of trouble.

However, a 3-0 defeat in South Wales was followed by Wednesday night's 1-0 reverse at the hands of leaders Chelsea, and they find themselves back at the foot of the table and four points adrift of safety.

The Hornets will head for the Stadium of Light this Saturday sitting nine places and 10 points better off than their hosts, but Borini is convinced that it is against the division's lesser lights rather than the big guns that Sunderland's fate will ultimately be sealed.

He said: "Watford is one of our competitors in the league and that's where we need to get the points, especially at home like we did against Hull and against Leicester.

"That's the kind of attitude we need to put on the pitch and then the football will come because we train well at the training ground and we are able to play football."

A Sunderland side shorn of in-form striker Victor Anichebe and midfielder Steven Pienaar through injury set out with a very definite game-plan as they looked to frustrate Chelsea, and although they conceded both possession and ground, they surrendered very few opportunities during a tight first half.

However, Cesc Fabregas took full advantage of one of the handful of clear-cut chances which came his side's way to fire them into a 40th-minute lead and with the help of a brilliant injury-time save from Thibaut Courtois, who had earlier blocked Adnan Januzaj's close-range effort, to deny Patrick van Aanholt a last-gasp equaliser, that proved sufficient.

Borini said: "He [Courtois] saved the three points for them on two occasions, then and with Adnan, so maybe a draw was a fair thing because they played well the first half, we played probably better the second half and we had the chances.

"That's why they are top of the league. They have big players."

For Italian Borini, who began his career in England at Stamford Bridge, it was a first appearance since August 27 following his recovery from a groin injury, and he is desperate to make up for lost time.

He said: "It's been frustrating because I had a few setbacks during the injury and it wasn't really what I was expecting. To be honest, I was a little bit delayed, but it's gone now, mentally I am over it and that's what matters.

"I think I deserved to be in the team and it was good to play almost the whole game. I didn't feel as tired as I was expecting and people were expecting after three-and-a-half months, so it was good.

"It was also the first time I was playing at home this season, so it was a good feeling."


From Belfast Telegraph