Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We're Accelerating Now, Says O'Neill; We're Hitting the Accelerator, Says Cats Boss

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We're Accelerating Now, Says O'Neill; We're Hitting the Accelerator, Says Cats Boss

Article excerpt

MARTIN O'Neill has promised to go "full steam ahead" tomorrow in a game which could have an important bearing on both North East top-flight clubs' seasons, writes STUART RAYNER. A win in the early kick-off at home to Tottenham Hotspur will strengthen Sunderland's chances of the top-half finish they have targeted. It will also enhance Newcastle United's chances of reaching next season's Europa League. The Magpies must reel in Chelsea or Spurs to guarantee a European place. It is the first of two Black Cats games in three days, but manager O'Neill has promised to hold nothing back ahead of Monday's trip to Everton. "With seven games to go, knowing what we have left, we just go full steam ahead against Tottenham," he said. "Then we will look to Everton. We have a couple of injury problems and we will go from there." Lee Cattermole and Fraizer Campbell picked up knee injuries in training this week. "In training on Tuesday, Frazier Campbell stretched himself a little bit. I'm not too sure how serious that will be," said the Ulsterman. "We hope Lee will be okay." O'Neill will not countenance resting players for the start of a heavy Easter schedule, having had his fingers burned at Blackburn Rovers in the run-up to Sunderland's FA Cup quarter-final replay. "I am not thinking that far ahead," he insisted. "There's no reason to. We were beaten in the Cup game. We rested a couple of players ahead of that. You can fall foul of things like that. "We still have plenty to play for, every position in this league is so important .

I don't think it is time to down tools. That was the most pleasing thing, seeing them respond like they did against Manchester City - a quality side." The 3-3 draw with City - a game Sunderland ought to have won - was their first since going out of the Cup to Everton. It was a result which seemed to some to end the Black Cats' season, with safety assured and Europe beyond them. …

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