Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Kenwyne Hopeful Black Cats Can Find Consistency

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Kenwyne Hopeful Black Cats Can Find Consistency

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

KENWYNE Jones has argued Sunderland should not be raising their game when they play the best teams in the Premier League after the Black Cats almost pulled off the shock of the season against Arsenal.

Jones was pleased with the way he and the Black Cats performed at the Emirates Stadium last weekend, but he knows the real challenge is to maintain that level of performance each week. The Wearsiders have won just one of their last eight games in the Premier League and, although they have managed to keep themselves out of the relegation zone, they are already stuck among the teams expected to battle against the drop.

Jones' second-half header pulled Sunderland level against Arsenal but, although the Wearsiders earned plenty of plaudits for the manner in which they fought back from a 2-0 deficit, they ultimately headed back to the North-East with nothing to show for another encouraging performance.

"We've raised our game against the big four teams and that's something we have to change," said Jones, who has scored two goals in his first five games for Sunderland. "We come to these big clubs to try not to get embarrassed. I think we come out and do well and show what we can do, but the problem we're having is doing it with the teams around us. After this game we can look back at these first eight or nine games and take some positives and know what we have to do.

Definitely, with the teams around us we need to be picking up points and hopefully we'll be able to do that."

Sunderland have already faced Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool this season, but it is games like the ones against West Ham and Fulham when league action re-commences after the international break which will define the success of their attempt to consolidate their place back in the top flight. And after seeing defensive mistakes against Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal cost them dearly, Jones - whose poor clearance contributed to Arsenal's second goal - would like to see fewer lapses at the back. …

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