Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Mauling Will Bring Us Closer, Says Cole

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Mauling Will Bring Us Closer, Says Cole

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

ANDY Cole is confident Sunderland can recover from Saturday's 'dreadful beating' at Everton after challenging the Black Cats to learn a lesson from Manchester United.

The veteran striker made his debut during last weekend's 7-1 defeat on Merseyside and, although he described the experience as a 'horrible' one, Cole is determined to take something positive from it.

Derby's forthcoming visit to the North-East is a fixture the Wearsiders can ill afford to lose considering their respective positions in the Premier League standings.

But as he cast his mind back to a crushing defeat he suffered during a distinguished playing career at Old Trafford, Cole insisted last night that events at Goodison Park can make a struggling squad stronger.

"I remember one season (1996-97) at Manchester United when we went to Southampton and lost 6-3," said the 36-year-old, recalling a fixture in which Roy Keane - these days his manager - was dismissed after 21 minutes. "It was a horrible, horrible feeling. The manager (Sir Alex Ferguson) came in and said his bit and it wasn't a nice feeling. But, during the weeks that followed, it brought the players much closer together and we got the results we needed."

Ferguson's team recovered to claim the Premier League title - pipping Newcastle to finish first - and Cole believes that a demoralising defeat at The Dell played an important role in galvanising United's players. It is a situation he hopes can be repeated following Sunderland's biggest defeat in 25 years.

"We've got to crack on and look towards the weekend," he said.

"Everyone's going to work very, very hard this week, look forward to Saturday's match and do their best to get over (what happened at) Everton. We're all hoping to redeem ourselves. There will be great passion. …

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