Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stoke Will Count for Nothing If Cats Lose; Confidence Was a Problem

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stoke Will Count for Nothing If Cats Lose; Confidence Was a Problem

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

SUNDERLAND were relieved to finally get their first win of the season against Stoke City, but goalkeeper Simon Mignolet says it will count for nothing if they lose at Norwich City on Monday.

Sunday's 4-0 win over the Potters was important for the Belgian and his team. As well as breaking the Black Cats' duck for 2011-12, it was only their second clean sheet of the campaign.

"I did well against Stoke but there's another game on Monday night and if I don't perform there then all the good performances of the past, nobody thinks about that," argued Mignolet. "The most important thing for me is to play well against Norwich.

"I was happy because when you play Stoke you know you're always going to be under pressure, but the defence did well and protected me as well as they could.

"In training we did a bit on how Stoke were going to play and I think we responded well as a team.

"If you are going to lose the next game then the win against Stoke doesn't mean anything. Hopefully we can move on. The confidence must be there now and we can get some points out of the next few games."

Sunderland undoubtedly caught Tony Pulis' notoriously awkward side at the right time. Stoke are far more formidable at home, and had a marathon journey back from Europa League duty in Kiev on Thursday and Friday to contend with.

None of that will matter to the Black Cats, though, who will take great self-belief from the manner of their victory.

"It was a relief to get the win, for the confidence of the team it was very important," commented Mignolet. "We scored early on and it made things a lot easier for us. We went on to score more and it allowed us to play our game. Hopefully it's a good start for the next games where we can get some points. …

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