Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Europe Is Our Aim This Year, Says Titus; EUROPE IS OUR AIM, SAYS BRAMBLE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Europe Is Our Aim This Year, Says Titus; EUROPE IS OUR AIM, SAYS BRAMBLE

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

TITUS Bramble has told his Sunderland team-mates that they should dare to dream about Europe after moving into the Premier League's top six.

Manager Steve Bruce is still desperately trying to downplay talk of Europa League football, insisting his sole focus is on a top-half finish.

But after Saturday's 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers, captain-for-theday Bramble revealed he has adjusted his sights.

"We are back to sixth and confidence is sky high," said the centreback. "Now you never know, we have got to be aiming for Europe.

we are a good team, so why not go for Europe? I think we are good enough, especially with the way we play at home.

"You have to set yourself high targets in this game and I don't see anything wrong with that."

Having played in the Champions League and Uefa Cup for Newcastle United, Bramble knows all about qualifying for continental competitions.

"I think this season we have a great chance of qualifying for Europe," the defender said. "This club deserves to be in Europe because of its size.

"At the start of the season maybe we were aiming more for top ten, but now we should be going for Europe. It is so special playing against the best teams in Europe.

"It is a fantastic feeling and I would love to get back there with Sunderland."

Saturday's win, secured by goals from Danny Welbeck, Darren Bent and Asamoah Gyan, came after a disappointing start to the festive period which saw Sunderland lose consecutive matches for the first time this season. They were outclassed at Manchester United on Boxing Day, then outplayed Blackpool two days later, only to lose 2-0. "The response from the players to losing twice has been fantastic and shows what we are all about," commented Bramble. "We were the same after losing to Newcastle. …

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