Martin O'Neill

O’Neill ready for Royals visit

by Kate Smith

Manager previews Reading game.

Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill has had little time to brood over his side’s defeat to Chelsea as they prepare to welcome Reading to the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats face the Royals just three days after the match with the Blues, in the game that was postponed back in August following torrential downpour in the build-up to the fixture. 

Not that the manager is dwelling on his side’s recent run, that includes two home defeats in three games; O’Neill is more focussed on looking ahead and building on recent performances.

“If we play with the same endeavour we had in the second half against Norwich and all the way through the game with Chelsea then we give ourselves a good chance,” the manager told the press. 

”Results count over the season, if you start looking at results in sections it gives a different picture.

”The time to look back on results is at the end of the season after all games have been played.

“We’re in a difficult situation at the moment but it’s one that’s not irretrievable by any stretch of the imagination.”

Brian McDermott brings his Reading side to Wearside on the back of four successive defeats and six points from safety, with fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester City to follow before Christmas.

O'Neill understands the significance of Tuesday's fixture, with both teams vying to climb up the table: "It is a big game, but it always was going to be that. If we actually win the game, we lift ourselves into 15th position in the league.

"But I don't think that's the issue, it's the points on the board which are more important. We need to get some points now and we just need to win the game."

"It's a game we can win," said O'Neill. "I'm sure Reading possibly feel the same themselves, but it's really up to us.

"It's far from doom and gloom around the place. The players are very positive, they're really upbeat and they've been in this position before, so they know how to cope with it."