Henderson backs Cats to cope
Jordan Henderson insists Sunderland will be able to cope with the hectic Christmas schedule.
Last Updated: 22/12/10 3:49pm
Jordan Henderson insists Sunderland will be able to cope with the hectic Christmas schedule despite their crop of injuries and suspensions.
Steve Bruce's side go into the busy Christmas period in sixth position, and the Boxing Day fixture against Manchester United is the first of four matches in the space of 11 days.
The midfielder believes the Black Cats have enough quality in reserve for the trip to Old Trafford, despite missing at least five first-teamers.
Michael Turner, John Mensah and Fraizer Campbell are all out injured, while skipper Lee Cattermole is suspended and on-loan striker Danny Welbeck cannot play against his parent club.
Meanwhile, Titus Bramble has returned to training having been out of action for a month-and-a-half following knee surgery and could make his comeback against United.
Henderson said: "It's hard with injuries, but you're always going to get that and it's how you cope with it.
"There's enough quality to be able to deal with it.
"Nedum (Onuoha) and Ahmed (Elmohamady) have come into new positions and done exceptionally well. We're still quite versatile at the back.
"Kieran (Richardson) can play left-back or centre midfield and Phil Bardsley can play anywhere along the back-line.
"But it doesn't matter what position you play in, you've got to go out and do your best."
The England international remains optimistic there will be no repeat of last term's mid-season collapse, which saw them go 14 games without a league victory from November to March.
"This is a really big time for us, the next five or six games," he added.
"Last season we struggled a little bit over the winter, but hopefully we can put it right and do much better.
"There are really good players here - the gaffer has brought some good players in.
"The whole team is playing well at the minute and we know we have got some good quality. But we can't afford to slip up, we've got to keep it going.
"You've just got to concentrate on your football and not get carried away by Europe or finishing in the top six.
"You've just got to think about getting a good result every week and then see where we are."