Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Results the Attraction for Cats' Ben-Haim

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Results the Attraction for Cats' Ben-Haim

Article excerpt

Byline: LUKE EDWARDS

TAL Ben-Haim has warned Sunderland their ability to play nice football will not be enough to keep them in the Premier League as they prepare for the arrival of Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, writes LUKE EDWARDS.

Although the Black Cats have moved clear of the immediate threat of relegation under new manager Ricky Sbragia, they are not safe yet and a defeat by Spurs tomorrow would push them back into the congested danger zone just above the bottom three.

That is a concern for all of Sunderland's players and, while Ben-Haim is happy at the Stadium of Light, he will not consider turning his loan move from Manchester City into a permanent deal until he knows the Wearsiders will definitely remain in the top flight next season.

He said: "We have a fantastic staff and good players. We try to play nice football, work hard as a team and we have seen that against Liverpool and Arsenal.

"Now it's all about the results. If we don't get the results, we don't get the points and we will not move higher up the table and clear of the relegation zone.

"The lads have been brilliant to me - so have the staff and everyone at the club - and they have all helped me settle in well. I have had no problems but the key thing is all about the results now.

"We need the results. It's not about me, or how I'm settling in, it's all about getting the results for Sunderland."

Nevertheless, having ended a miserable spell at the City of Manchester Stadium, where he had fallen out with manager Mark Hughes before escaping to the North East, Ben-Haim has found the quality of the team at Sunderland a welcome surprise.

The 26-year-old worked with Sbragia when he was part of Sam Allardyce's coaching staff at Bolton Wanderers and he has been impressed by the impact he has had as a manager after he agreed to take on the role following the sudden departure of Roy Keane in November. …

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