West Ham v SAFC

Larsson eyeing festive boost

by Stuart Vose

Swede previews Southampton trip.

Seb Larsson says Sunderland must keep the recent win over Reading fresh in their minds ahead of this weekend's game at Southampton.

The Black Cats ran out 3-0 winners over the newly-promoted Royals last week before going down at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford four days later.

Now they face another club in their first season back in the top flight in the shape of Nigel Adkins' Saints, with only a point separating the two teams and all to play for.

We need to keep picking up points because every win is massive and makes a big difference at the moment

- Seb Larsson

“It's another massive game and we've had a few of those lately,” said Larsson, who last faced the Saints while with Birmingham back in August 2009.

“Reading was the last one and we managed to win that with a good performance at home.

“I know we lost at Old Trafford but we will be looking to try and build on the Reading performance this weekend.”

The long trip to St Mary's is the first of four festive games between December 22 and January 2 – meaning 12 priceless points are up for grabs over the course of just 12 days.

And Larsson would like nothing more than a fistful of Barclays Premier League victories in his stocking this Christmas time.

“We need to keep picking up points because every win is massive and makes a big difference at the moment,” he explained.

“If we can get a few more points on the board over the Christmas period we'll be in a much better position.

“We have to make sure we're on the right side of those results and if we can do that this weekend then we'll be able to play with a bit more freedom over the Christmas period.”

With Saturday's game falling just three days before Christmas, the festivities will be revving up around the country but Larsson says there's no room of distractions.

“I like Christmas, but it won't be the way everyone else celebrates it,” he added.

“You've got to take care of yourself, especially with the number of games we play at this time of year.

“We have to make sure we're right for them and put everything else to one side.”