Sunderland's Yann M'Vila does not want games against big sides treated as free hits

Sunderland face tough assignments against Manchester City and Liverpool before 2015 concludes.

Sunderland midfielder Yann M'Vila seemed to indicate there is no such thing as free games for the Black Cats ahead of their trip to Manchester City on Boxing Day.

Sam Allardyce's side will head to the Etihad Stadium as firm underdogs with the side five points from safety having lost each of their last three league games.

However, with City not in the best of form themselves, there could be an opportunity for Sunderland to strike and pick up points, and M'Vila does not want it to be treated as a 'free hit'.

He is quoted in the Shields Gazette, saying: “You just have to look at our situation and common sense shows you the task we’ve got with the position we’re in.

“But for me, every time we go onto the pitch we have to the hunger and belief that we can win.

“I want to do it for my family, I want to do it for these supporters.

“It’s crazy to say that Manchester City is a game where there’s nothing to lose.

“We have to have the hunger that we can win.

“Of course, we need to get more points before it’s too late."

Some will say there is little expectation on Sunderland to get anything out of their next two games but City have been going through an inconsistent patch, and Liverpool - who they host next Wednesday - have seen their momentum halted lately with damaging defeats at the hands of Newcastle United and Watford.

Sunderland could use the underdogs tag to their advantage. It may not be seen as a free hit inside the club among the players, but their relegation rivals are perhaps going to expect two losses from their next two games, so if they were to pick up a win from either game it could prove to be huge psychologically going into the second half of the campaign.

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