Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Don't Praise Us - We Don't Deserve It, Says Breen

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Don't Praise Us - We Don't Deserve It, Says Breen

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Gary Breen last night argued that Sunderland don't deserve any pats on the backs this season, even if they do secure a place in the play-offs.

The Republic of Ireland international is seething at the Black Cats' failure to claim one of the two automatic promotion berths and is still coming to terms with his frustration.

And, with the Wearsiders travelling to Wigan today in search of the three points which would confirm their presence in the end-of-season knock-out, Breen has rounded on those who feel the team can be proud of what it has done over the course of the campaign.

"I don't think we had a divine right to go up automatically, but I think we have the best squad in this division and we should have done," said the former Coventry City and West Ham United defender.

"The manager has done very well to put together this squad with no money and the board deserve credit for stopping the club from going into administration, but the players do not deserve any pats on the back yet.

"We would have liked to have gone up in the top two, but Norwich and West Brom deserve it because they have done better than us.

"Norwich strengthened at the right stage of the season and West Brom have been very resolute.

"We dropped silly points at times and now the best we can hope for is third place and to go up through the play-offs.

"If we do that, great, we can give ourselves a pat on the back because we'll be in the Premiership. But, if we don't, we have nothing to be proud of, far from it in fact.

"If the lads think they have achieved something already this season they are mistaken.

"It is time for us to step forward and show our character again. These players should be aspiring to be Premiership players and if they are not then there is something wrong with them.

"Talk is cheap, we just need to make sure we go up via the play-offs, that is all I'm interested in."

Breen's frank outburst came after watching his side stumble to three successive league defeats - their worst run of form all season.

And the experienced centre-back, who appeared to disagree with his manager Mick McCarthy's assessment that they only lost at Crystal Palace on Wednesday night because of the sending-off of goalkeeper Mart Poom, has warned against any further complacency against a Wigan side they could meet again in the play-offs next month. …

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