Martin O'Neill

Manager draws on positives

by Steve Feekins

Martin O’Neill looks forward to Everton test.

Martin O’Neill talked about his personal good record against Everton ahead of the Black Cats trip to Goodison Park, and maintained his side will head to Merseyside in a positive frame of mind.

The Toffees have been on a good run of form in the Barclays Premier League, and O’Neill’s charges have lost just once on the road all season. 

My own particular record at Everton is actually quite good.

- Martin O'Neill

Sunderland’s record includes three draws, but O’Neill insists his side will be going for victory at Goodison Park, with a focus on improving the side’s attacking fortunes top of the manager’s list.

O’Neill said: “My own particular record at Everton is actually quite good. I hope that over the next couple of seasons I am able to put a side out that teams actually revere.

“What we have to do, if you look at statistics, we just have to try and improve our goal ratio and we have to create more opportunities.

“Defensively, it appears that we’re reasonably strong. We have to create more chances and score more goals.”

 “I think it’s very difficult to go and plan for anything else.” O’Neill continued.

“If you sit back in any game in this league, against any team, then I think you’d be under severe pressure to try and hold out.”

The manager has been impressed by Everton’s progress during David Moyes’ time in charge, and hinted that the long-term stability at Goodison Park was key.

He said: “I think that you have to do pretty well in this modern game to at least hold your position but I think that sort of stability has obviously had a great effect there.

“Ten years in the job is a long time and it does eventually lead to decent results. They’re a very fine side, and they have been one for quite a number of seasons.

“People talk about the great start that they’ve had [to the 2012-13 season] but that doesn’t surprise me. They’re very strong.

“We will go there to try and win the game. Anything can happen on any given day.”