Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's the Record No-One Wants

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's the Record No-One Wants

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Gary Breen last night warned his Stadium of Light colleagues that it was time to stand up and be counted as Sunderland bid to avoid becoming the worst team in Football League history.

The Black Cats take on Preston North End this afternoon with manager Mick McCarthy insisting his players have not been adversely affected by the prospect of equalling Darwen's 105-year-old record with an 18th successive league defeat.

Breen made his debut for the Wearsiders last Saturday but, although McCarthy's men gave a dismal home performance in losing to Millwall, he insisted that he had no regrets about deciding to join the club.

The 29-year-old is reluctant to discuss the unwanted record which is in Sunderland's reach. But Breen does admit that the Black Cats need to turn things around quickly if they are to retain any hope of being successful this season.

"We need to be more positive, we need to have people wanting the ball," he said.

"The situation is difficult and I am sure the players feel it but it's time for people to stand up and be counted.

"I have not heard any of the lads speaking about this record - we are just concentrating on getting the three points we need to prevent other teams stealing a march on us.

"Two games have gone already and, if we start to feel sorry for ourselves, it could soon become four or five games or seven or eight.

"But we are not at that stage and we have to nip it in the bud right now.

"We are all aware that we need to get points on the board as soon as possible if we are still hoping to win promotion this season.

"It's a situation we need to rectify now before teams get too far ahead of us. If you don't make a good start the whole season can be spent playing catch-up and that's not what we want. …

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