Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Naivety's Costing Us Admits Anichebe

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Naivety's Costing Us Admits Anichebe

Article excerpt

Byline: James Hunter Sports writer

SUNDERLAND are paying the price for 'naivety' as they slide towards the Championship, admits Victor Anichebe.

The Black Cats' 3-0 weekend defeat at home to Manchester United leaves them 10 points from safety with only seven games remaining.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave Man U the lead in the first half but Sunderland were in the game until they suffered two huge blows minutes either side of half-time, firstly when Seb Larsson was controversially shown a straight red card, and then when Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubled his team's advantage just 45 seconds into the second period.

And Anichebe says it has been those type of incidents - seeing games slip through their fingers in a matter of minutes - that have proved so costly and left Sunderland staring into the abyss.

"I think that's the maybe the difference," he said.

"I always speak honestly. I think we have a bit of naivety in our play sometimes.

"We go a goal down and instead of staying tight in our play, really concentrating, when we go a goal down and then concede again, it makes it very difficult for the rest of the team, it makes it so difficult.

"That's the thing the manager is trying to address with the players. Going a goal down is something that happens to every team in the Premier League - but you need to give yourselves a foundation to come back.

"It's the naivety sometimes. Sometimes we chase the game and think we need to get the goal straight away, we don't.

"Look at the game Tottenham played against Swansea. They [Spurs] went a goal down and scored three at the end of the game."

Sunderland have kept only five clean sheets in 31 league games this season, but Anichebe says the entire team - and not just the defence - bears the responsibility for that.

He said: "Keeping clean sheets is what we need to do. …

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