SAFC v QPR

Boss warns of ‘monumental battle’

Published:
by Stuart Vose

O’Neill looks ahead to QPR trip.

Martin O’Neill says Sunderland will have to roll up their sleeves and fight for every inch when they head to QPR this weekend. 

Their side has been changed around somewhat since Harry Redknapp came in and it will be a monumental battle.

- Martin O'Neill

The Hoops sit at the foot of the Barclays Premier League table, but a 2-1 win at Southampton last weekend moved Harry Redknapp’s side to within four points of safety.

And O’Neill believes his side will face a revitalised outfit at Loftus Road on Saturday.

“It’s a difficult game for us,” the Black Cats boss said. “I believe we shouldn’t have been beaten in any of our games played recently, including the one against Arsenal.

“We got ourselves a point against Fulham and something out of the game.

“QPR is a difficult issue. They will be fighting for everything having won [against Southampton] last week.

“Their side has been changed around somewhat since Harry Redknapp came in and it will be a monumental battle.”

O’Neill has visited Loftus Road only once as Sunderland manager, winning 3-2 at the London venue last season thanks to a late header from Wes Brown.

The victory was a vital one and O’Neill feels Saturday’s game is just as big, if not more so.

“It was my third game in charge having played Tottenham in the previous fixture,” he recalled.

“That was a great win for us with a last-minute goal from Wes.

“I thought at the time it was a big win for us, and the more I looked back on last season the more I thought it was very important indeed.

“This game is important, too, as is every of the next 10 games to come. There’s more points we need to get, and it would be nice to do that this weekend.”