Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Can Start to Win Again ( Skipper

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Can Start to Win Again ( Skipper

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Steve Caldwell last night urged supporters to keep Sunderland's sobering start to the season in context after insisting weekend events at the Ricoh Arena do not prove that a culture of failure is ingrained at the Wearside club.

And in an attempt to lift the spirits of his traumatised team-mates following Sunday's demoralising defeat by Coventry, the Black Cats captain has rejected suggestions that Niall Quinn's men are suffering from a post-relegation hangover.

With three league fixtures to contest during the opening six days of the new Championship campaign, Sunderland fans fear that a side who became accustomed to losing last season could find themselves a long way adrift in the Premiership promotion race before a week of football has been played.

It is a suggestion Caldwell has been quick to counter. And a player confident that a single result does not offer evidence that another catastrophic campaign could be on the cards is determined to prove the wisdom of his words by helping the Black Cats recover from their weekend woe with a much-needed triumph against Birmingham tomorrow evening.

"It's totally different to last season and I don't think that it's fair to talk about a hangover or anything like that," said the Scottish international, who at the weekend donned the armband worn last season by then-club captain Gary Breen.

"This is the last time that I'm going to talk about last season. I don't think we ever really played in a game like that last season. We dominated that match, we were the better team by far, we should have won and we're kicking ourselves that we have come away with nothing.

"It's not a case of having a hangover from last season, or of having a losing culture at the club ( it's just a case of cutting out the mistakes that have cost us dear. …

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