Seb Larsson

Seb: We must play to 100%

by Stuart Vose

Midfielder looks ahead to Boxing Day action.

Seb Larsson says Sunderland will have to play to their maximum if they are to topple defending champions Manchester City on Boxing Day.

City head north for a traditional post-Christmas clash looking to close a four-point gap to leaders Manchester United.

Sunderland, meanwhile, bagged three festive points at Southampton last time out and Larsson feels they will need to build on that performance on Wednesday.

“We have to play as close to a perfect game as possible,” said Larsson, who scored twice against City last season.

“That’s what we need to do if we are to get anything. We did that last year, so it’s not impossible.

“We will have to be right up for the game otherwise it will be a tough afternoon.”

A big crowd is expected at the Stadium of Light with Boxing Day games traditionally proving to be a big draw.

And Larsson says the fans have a key role to play again after the Black Cats were backed by almost 2,000 fans on the south coast.

“The fans have really stuck by us this season,” Larsson explained.

“That makes a big difference, especially against the top teams where you really have to put a hard shift in and find that little bit of extra energy.

“They can really help us to do that.”