Tainio backs team-mates
Teemu Tainio is confident his side can climb out of trouble despite picking up just three points from 18.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 02/12/08 1:27pm
Sunderland midfielder Teemu Tainio is confident his side can climb out of trouble despite picking up just three points from a possible 18 in the Premier League.
Sunderland were hammered 4-1 at home to Bolton on Saturday to send Roy Keane's men into the relegation zone.
Tainio was introduced just as the visitors scored their fourth goal but the Finland international was just happy to be back playing.
The 29-year-old has endured a frustrating time with injuries since signing from Tottenham in the summer restricting him to just seven appearances this season.
Tainio was among a mixture of nationalities to have signed over the summer with Senegal international El-Hadji Diouf and French players such as Djibril Cisse, Pascal Chimbonda and Steed Malbraanque joining the ranks.
But the former Spurs man does not think the new multi-national feel to the club is to blame for the sides poor form.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "Having a mixture of nationalities is all part of growing in the Premier League.
"I'm used to working with players from lots of different countries, it's part of modern football and I don't think it's a problem.
"I don't think you can blame our results on that. The important thing is that the squad is together and wants to work hard for each other. I don't see any problems on that side."
"All the players get on and we need that spirit more than anything now. The league table does not lie, so we have work to do."
After coming through the Bolton game unscathed the midfielder now hopes that his injury woes are behind him and his season can now begin.
He added: "I'm pleased to be fit again and what I need now is time on the pitch to get 100 per cent sharp.
"The injuries are frustrating, but I hope they are behind me and I can be available to the manager every week."
Keane will need as many players as possible for the upcoming busy Christmas period and unlike some summer signings the Finn's performances won't be affected by the cold weather.
He said: "Football in England is always very busy in December and January so the squad will be needed and there could be a job to do by all of us.
"The cold is not a problem. I phoned my dad the other day and it was -20 when he got up in the morning - that's cold."