Blogs & Opinion


Sunderland: Black Cats must beat West Ham and stop letting down Gus Poyet at home

Niall Quinn - Niall Quinn Posted 27th March 2014 view comments

Niall Quinn says Sunderland's shot-shy players must stop letting down their manager at home, starting against against West Ham.

Gus Poyet's side were left three points adrift of safety following Wednesday's 2-1 defeat at Liverpool, even though Ki Sung-yueng's 75th-minute goal prompted a late surge from the spirited visitors.

Sung-Yeung Ki: scored against Liverpool - can he do it again against West Ham?

Sung-Yeung Ki: scored against Liverpool - can he do it again against West Ham?

Thoughts now turn to the Monday Night Football clash with West Ham and while Sky Sports pundit - and former Black Cats chairman - Quinn was impressed with the way Sunderland rallied at Anfield, he says that they must now start turning performances into points at the Stadium of Light.

"It was another heroic performance from Sunderland but there was nothing at the end of it," he said. "That's got to stop now - it's all about winning games, not letting their fans down again.

"It's a huge game for them on Monday night; they've had this opportunity several times to win games at home after performances like this away from home.

"It's now about getting together as a group and saying to themselves it's now or never - we have to beat West Ham United and we've got to keep this club up.

Failed

"Home, home, home - that's where the whole direction of their thoughts have to be.

"They have been doing absurdly well away from home for a team in the bottom three - but it's failed so many times when they've come back to the Stadium of Light.

"They've failed after a performance like against Liverpool and let themselves down. That has to stop right now.

"For this club to stay up they have to approach the West Ham game and take risks, as the manager said. They have to be the dominant team and go forward to get goals.

"You get bogged down as a centre-forward when you keep trying to be ultra-cautious as a team and your team aren't really going for it. You can have excuses.

"The way he has spoken, none of the players at that club can have an excuse."

Chance

Sunderland have only won three Premier League games at home all season, but Quinn says they need to improve that statistic drastically if they are to stay in the Premier League.

Their four remaining away games are at Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United and Quinn says with points on the road looking unlikely, the players must be aggressive in their final five home games.

He added: "I looked at a game there a few weeks ago in the league. It was a great chance for them to kick on. It was against Hull at home and 43,500 Sunderland fans went to the game.

"They fired blanks and Hull won the game comfortably. These things have happened to them too much this season. These players need to step up to the plate for who I think is a terrific young manager and has brought something into that dressing room.

"The last bit of icing on the cake is to do what is easiest of all in most people's minds and win the home games against the teams down there.

"This is it. No more mishaps. The Di Canio debacle is all gone and is ancient history. It's about these games and everybody being focused for Poyet.

"He's given them a chance and what they've got to do is pay him back and go and win games."

Performances

Sunderland have scored just 13 goals at home all season and Quinn, who played more than 200 times for Sunderland and scored 61 times, says their strikers have let them down too often.

But he said the performances of Ki and the recalled Connor Wickham at Anfield have given the supporters a reason to be optimistic.

Quinn added: "They've got Ki, who has shown against Liverpool he might be the one. He has scored some important goals already and looks like the type of player who might just kick on now and be the one that leads them.

"There's even Wickham. I thought he did okay against Liverpool and Steven Fletcher may come back.

"But it's all about these home games. They have to approach them differently to all of the other games this season.

"They have got to go and win them."

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Chelsea in good shape for PSG

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is likely to have a strong squad to select from for their Champions League game with Paris Saint-Germain.

'Let's throw some punches'

New Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood says he is planning to install a more attacking approach at the club.

LVG: We must sign a midfielder

Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Manchester United will attempt to sign a creative midfield player this summer.

Live transfer updates

Live transfer news as Louis van Gaal makes the signing a creative midfielder his top priority this summer.

Bony trains with new team-mates

Wilfried Bony has trained with Man City for the first time after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast.

Features

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

As Tim Sherwood settles into his first day at work as Aston Villa manager, the challenge of keeping the Premier League perennials in the top flight begins.

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Only a fortnight after the transfer window closed, Louis van Gaal has set tongues wagging again by admitting that Manchester United need to sign a creative midfielder.

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Adam Bate looks at Xabi Alonso's fine form with Bayern Munich and why he can make history this season.