Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Cats Facing a Massive Fight - Roy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Cats Facing a Massive Fight - Roy

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Sunderland 0

Manchester United 4

ROY Keane last night admitted his relegation-threatened side are facing a 'massive, massive fight' as Sunderland slid to their lowest position yet in this season's Premier League table.

The Black Cats dropped to 19th in the top-flight standings having lost 4-0 to Manchester United but, although the home side have never suffered a heavier defeat at the Stadium of Light, Keane remains confident his struggling team can survive.

Yesterday's one-sided affair did nothing to strengthen the Irishman's argument and Sunderland's manager acknowledged that the Wearsiders are in 'a sticky patch'. But although he has engineered just one win since September 15, Keane remains adamant that the campaign could still have an uplifting end.

"I think we're doing okay," said a manager hoping to strengthen his squad during next month's transfer window. "We've got lots going for us in terms of the spirit and the attitude and I'm fortunate to have the staff and the support. But we're in a sticky patch, we're in a massive, massive fight, there's no doubt about that. We'd like some more points on the board. I think we deserve them, but we haven't got them and we are where we are.

"The best team will win the title and the three worst teams will go down. I still believe we're not one of the three worst teams in the Premier League but it would be nice to back that up with some positive results and some more points."

Sunderland never looked like taking anything from a fixture that served to underline the immense gulf in class between clubs at opposite ends of the table. Two goals from Louis Saha, and one each from Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo showed United's title credentials and exposed the home side's shortcomings. The final score equalled Sunderland's worst home defeat, the Red Devils matching Arsenal's 4-0 triumph against already relegated opponents in May 2003. …

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