John O'Shea on what Sunderland must do to avoid relegation

Sunderland Gates

The Black Cats are in 19th position after eight Premier League games.

Sunderland captain John O’Shea has called on his team-mates in the Chronicle to emulate their first-half showing against West Ham if they are to give themselves a chance of avoiding the drop this season.

The Black Cats enjoyed a fantastic 45 minute spell on Saturday and stormed in to a two-goal lead courtesy of Steven Fletcher and Jeremain Lens, but conceded just before half-time to hand momentum over to the Hammers.

Slaven Bilic’s men went on to secure a draw, after Lens' sending off sent Sunderland reeling, but O’Shea wants to build on Saturday’s first-half display in the coming weeks.

“You saw glimpses of what we can do in the first half,” said the former Manchester United man, in quotes published by the Chronicle.

“That’s the level of attitude we have to come out with in every game. We can’t just turn it on and off. If we do that every game we know we will pick up points but that’s the minimum level the lads have to maintain.

“There is quality in this squad but you have to maintain that level of consistency in the Premier League… every little detail is scrutinised so you have to make sure you’re always on your game,” he added.

Sunderland do possess a threat going forward but it’s the other end of the pitch that is the issue - and it has been for some time.

Dick Advocaat’s defensive summer recruits have been nothing short of a disaster and deadline day signing DeAndre Yedlin is still unproven in the Premier League.

Organisation and a strong foundation will need to be introduced quickly if Sunderland are to avoid the drop but with limited resources and limited personnel currently available, it looks one hell of a task for whoever takes the reigns.

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