Seb Larsson

Larsson ready for big run-in

by Stuart Vose

Midfielder at full force ahead of final dozen games.

Seb Larsson says he’s fighting fit once more as Sunderland prepare to resume their league campaign at West Brom this weekend.

I feel ready to go again, definitely, and am looking forward to the weekend

- Seb Larsson

The Swede had been struggling with illness and was substituted at half-time against Reading before coming off the bench in the second half of the defeat to former club Arsenal.

Sunderland haven’t played since the home reverse against the Gunners on February 9 and headed off to Dubai for some warm-weather training last week.

Larsson is feeling the benefit and says he’s ready for the action to come ahead of the big run-in to the end of the season.

“I feel ready to go again, definitely, and am looking forward to the weekend,” he said.

“It’s not often there’s a couple of weeks between games and it’s been good for us in a way to get those little niggles out of the way.

“We’ll go into this weekend’s game fully recharged and ready to go.”

Starting with Saturday’s encounter in the Midlands, Sunderland have a dozen games remaining and currently lie 13th in the Barclays Premier League table.

And Larsson has his sights firmly set on upward mobility. “We have to make sure we finish where we should,” he explained.

“Hopefully that will be higher in the table than where we are at the present moment.

“If you look at the table, it’s tight both ways. Teams who have strong finishes to the season could climb quite a few places.

“We have to be positive, look at this in a positive way and try to finish well.”

As well as his domestic schedule, Larsson has been busy on the international front too, facing Argentina as a member of the Sweden senior side earlier this month.

The visitors featured Barcelona wizard Lionel Messi, who recently passed the milestone of 300 goals for the Catalan club at the age of just 25.

But, Messi aside, the remainder of the team was also loaded with talent, and Larsson played the full 90 minutes of a 3-2 defeat in Solna.

“It was a good game to be involved with, but one where we didn’t really perform to our best against a very good side,” said the midfielder, who featured alongside former Black Cat Tobi Hysen.

“They played their strongest team. The front four was Higuain, Aguero, Di Maria and Messi – not a bad attack to have!

“Those are games you really want to be involved with. It was great as a national side to be able to test ourselves.”