Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Larsson: I Haven't Affected Games; Sunderland Midfielder Gives an Honest Assessment

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Larsson: I Haven't Affected Games; Sunderland Midfielder Gives an Honest Assessment

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas ? (0191) 201-6281 ? mark.douglas@ncjmedia.co.uk

FRUSTRATION is the theme of the week in Wearside. Foiled in both Cups by their own inconsistency, Sunderland now find themselves facing a pivotal weekend for their Premier League status with a potentially treacherous trip to Loftus Road.

It shouldn't have been like this, and Seb Larsson knows it. He pinpoints Sunderland's uncanny knack of being able to confound even themselves with their performances as a major factor, but says no one can absolve themselves of blame.

He includes himself in that, deconstructing his own displays and admitting that he hasn't done enough to "affect games" this season. A move into the centre of midfield and away from his preferred position on the flanks has had an impact, but mainly he feels he has been playing too deep this year.

That is not a tactical instruction, just a tendency to drift into that role without necessarily noticing.

It is a candid confession from a player who tackles his own form with the same tigerishness that has typified his performances in red-and-white since signing in 2010.

It also deserves some credit from Sunderland supporters growing noticeably less patient with excuses about their form.

"I have played well on and off but I am not going to lie. My season has been inconsistent as well," he said.

"One thing which has been a major frustration for me is that I have found myself in too many games, if I am being completely honest with myself, not affect the game enough.

"I have found myself not getting forward enough, too deep and that is something I try to work on in my head, mentally. I think I took a step in the right direction last Saturday. I have got to keep that going and make sure I can affect the game a bit more.

"Of course, when you are playing in the middle of the park, like I have done for most of this season, you can''t just run anywhere. When you are on the wing, you can take a few more chances because the team is still covered. …

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