For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Vaughan - 'gutless' accusations dented Sunderland's pride
DAVID VAUGHAN is confident that Sunderland can avoid relegation this season - starting with a victory against Newcastle United on Sunday.
The Black Cats go into the Wear-Tyne derby with one point from the first eight games of the Premier League season and with a 4-0 defeat at Swansea City behind them.
The display at the Liberty Stadium prompted one national newspaper to brand Sunderland’s players ‘gutless’ - a move which has enraged the Black Cats players. Vaughan is determined that they can put on a better show on Sunday afternoon.
“Obviously we’ve come in for criticism from different aspects of the media and fans so this is an opportunity for us to answer back and actually show what we can do,” he said.
“I’ve not seen much of the media over the weekend but we know what we’re capable of and what we can do. We’ve got to start doing it. It’s a good opportunity for us to kick-start our season and turn things around if we win the derby.
“People are calling it a ‘must-win’ – I think it is important that we don’t lose. If we get something we can build on that and try and turn the situation around.”
Gus Poyet’s first game in charge of Sunderland outlined the task the Uruguayan is facing, with all four goals coming in the second half as the Black Cats visibly tired.
Vaughan understands that, as the basement side in the division, Sunderland are there to be shot at and it is up to the players to prove they are better than the statistics suggest.
“It does dent your pride a bit. Losing the games we have and our start to the season means people are going to take digs at us. We’re hurting from it but we’ve got to stay positive and we need to get up the table as quickly as possible,” said Vaughan.
“We’ve been close in a lot of games. It’s the odd game here and there. The performances have been OK, it feels like we’ve been just a little bit away. But we need to start turning that into results now.
“We’ve got to go into the games thinking we can win and to get as many points as we can to try and get ourselves out of this situation.
“We don’t believe we’re down at all. We think we can still get enough points to keep us in the Premier League, which is obviously the big aim for everyone this season.”
Defeat in South Wales could not be any worse preparation for the biggest game of the season so far, and Vaughan, having scored the third goal in Sunderland’s 3-0 demolition on Gallowgate in April, knows more than anyone what a win means.
“The atmosphere is absolutely sensational in these games. You will never hear anything like it in any football game you play in,” he said.
“Winning that last one will affect this game. The Newcastle players and fans will remember the last game and want some revenge – it’s up to us to try and prevent them from doing that and to try and get ourselves the points that we obviously need.”
This week has given Poyet the opportunity to work with his players further having only two days last week to implement his ideas on Sunderland, and Vaughan, an unused substitute in Swansea, is champing at the bit to get his chance.
“The new manager seems good,” said the Wales international. “I like the way he wants his teams to play and the methods in training. Hopefully I can get the chance to play and show what I can do now.”
Comments are closed on this article.