Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Are Ready for Chelsea This Time - Zenden; Cats Are Ready for Chelsea This Time - Bolo

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Are Ready for Chelsea This Time - Zenden; Cats Are Ready for Chelsea This Time - Bolo

Article excerpt

SUNDERLAND will return to Stamford Bridge far better equipped to avoid the monumental hammering they took there last season, but Boudewijn Zenden believes they cannot think simply about survival, writes STUART RAYNER.

The Black Cats lost 7-2 at the west London ground in January - comfortably the biggest defeat of Steve Bruce's reign. Greater solidity has been one of this season's hallmarks, but former Chelsea midfielder Zenden warned his team-mates their luck will run out if they rely on blanket defence as they did Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

For much of the first 45 minutes at White Hart Lane the Wearsiders struggled to get out of their own half, and it was by adding an extra attacker that they became less vulnerable defensively. Zenden hopes they heed the lesson on Sunday.

"Maybe we are better set up to get clean sheets but I'm still a fan of football," said the Dutchman, whose previous clubs include Barcelona.

"I don't want to sit back and get wave after wave (of attacking) like we did in the first half against Tottenham. I do get a bit frustrated if we don't play football, if you only play with the long ball and it keeps coming back at us. I don't think we're good at that.

"We still want to get the ball on the floor and play, and have a bit of confidence to keep the ball."

Under Bruce, Sunderland have taken points off every member of England's elite - which now includes Champions League side Spurs and mega-rich Manchester City - except Chelsea.

"Sunday's going to be a massive game and a hard one," warned the club captain. "Then again, if you're well organised and you do the right things you might get a result. "Last year we got a bit of a spanking and it's for us to make sure we do better. We only started playing in the second half and if you play against the big sides you can't just show up in the second half, you have to be there from the start. …

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