Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Players Own Up to Their Failings

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Players Own Up to Their Failings

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Carl Robinson last night admitted that Sunderland's players deserve all the criticism they get after producing an "unacceptable" performance which has cast major doubts over the club's promotion credentials.

The Wearsiders lost 2-1 at Plymouth on Saturday after delivering a dreadful display described by Mick McCarthy as the worst of his 18-month reign at the Stadium of Light, and have now taken just four points from the opening four fixtures of their Coca-Cola Championship campaign.

A candid Robinson was in no mood to offer excuses in the aftermath of the latest disappointment to hit the Black Cats' faltering push for the Premiership.

And, following a damning dressing-room inquest at Home Park, the midfielder warned his team-mates that they must develop a nasty streak quickly if a top-flight return is to remain a realistic ambition.

"If anybody thinks they played well on Saturday, they are kidding themselves," said the Welsh international.

"We were all below par, we were outplayed and outfought, the manager has told us that it was unacceptable and we know that we just weren't good enough.

"If you are prepared to take the plaudits when things are going well, you have to be big enough to take the criticism when you don't play well. There were just too many players off the pace at Plymouth.

"Words have been said. I wouldn't say they were harsh words because they were true words.

"We just weren't at the races and we have got to hold up our hands and admit it, there's no hiding from it.

"We don't want to become a pretty team to play against, a nice team to face. We need to develop a nasty streak.

"We can't let this get us down; it's very disappointing but we have put it behind us and we will just have to get on with it now."

Sunderland have recorded a victory over Crewe and salvaged a fortunate draw against Queens Park Rangers in the opening two weeks of the new campaign. …

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