Belfast Telegraph

O'Shea - No panic at Sunderland

Defender John O'Shea is confident there is no need to go back to the drawing board as Sunderland attempt to kick-start their season.

The Black Cats travelled to Norwich on Monday night with high hopes having finally secured their first win of the season with a 4-0 demolition of Stoke. However, they returned on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline thanks to defensive errors, heaping the pressure back on manager Steve Bruce and his players.

O'Shea told the Journal: "I wouldn't say it is back to square one. It is disappointing and we are not trying to hide the fact. We went to Norwich very confident of getting the three points, but we didn't perform well enough."

He added: "We are not creating too many clear-cut chances, we are not testing out back fours either. We know we need to improve, but the players and everyone behind the scenes are working hard to make it happen.

"The consistency is what we need to find now. Some of the performances have been so good and others have been so bad.

"We have to find that level we know the players are capable of. There is no better opportunity than at home to West Brom."

The Black Cats will entertain the Baggies sitting in 14th place in the table and just a point clear of the drop zone.

Bruce could have a further problem this weekend if defender Titus Bramble is not available to him.

The 30-year-old central defender was due to meet his manager and chairman Niall Quinn after being released on police bail following his arrest over allegations of sexual assault and possession of a Class A drug.

If Bramble does not play, Bruce could re-introduce Michael Turner following his return from injury, or move O'Shea into the middle and employ an emergency right-back.


From Belfast Telegraph