FABIO BORINI is hoping history repeats itself this weekend, with a win over Everton sparking Sunderland into top gear.
Back in December, the Black Cats travelled to Merseyside and became the first club to take all three points from Goodison Park as Ki Sung-Yueng’s penalty secured a surprise 1-0 win.
The victory kick-started a sequence of just one defeat in 11 matches in all competitions, comfortably Sunderland’s most impressive run of the campaign.
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Gustavo Poyet’s side desperately need to hit a similar standard in their remaining seven games, as they find themselves seven points adrift of safety after a dreadful recent run.
Everton, whose win over Arsenal last weekend makes them favourites to pip the Gunners to the final Champions League place, will start as firm favourites tomorrow afternoon.
But having upset the odds against Roberto Martinez’s team once this season, Borini is hoping Sunderland enjoy similar success at the Stadium of Light.
“That was the beginning of our best football of the season,” said the Italian, who is on loan from Everton’s Merseyside rivals, Liverpool. “We probably need to get back to that moment and form of mentality and see what the last six or seven games can bring.
“We played very solid and compact (at Goodison) to not concede a goal, and we scored from a penalty. The goalkeeper (Tim Howard) got sent off, so it was a different kind of game. We managed to get three points against a fantastic team that did so well last year.”
Most neutrals, and even a majority of fans, have written off Sunderland’s survival prospects in the wake of Monday’s 5-1 thrashing at Tottenham.
With away games at Manchester City and Chelsea following tomorrow’s game with the Toffees, the Black Cats could be even further adrift by the time they welcome Cardiff City to Wearside on April 27.
However, if they can claim only their fourth Premier League home win tomorrow, Borini believes the unlikeliest of great escapes could still be on.
“It would change everything,” said the striker, in an interview with SAFSee. “It would change the mentality and bring a bit of positivity to the club. We have got three games against the teams that are just above us so it would give us confidence.
“But first we need to perform to win. That is what matters now. The other games will come after, and we need to play game by game, and be careful with what we do during the Everton game. After that, we can start to think about Man City.”
Meanwhile, Fiorentina and Genoa have both been linked with a potential move for Italian winger Emanuele Giaccherini this summer.
Giaccherini has started just one of Sunderland’s last 11 matches and is expected to leave Wearside no matter what happens in the final month of the season.