Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Deserve the Flak, Keeper Admits; Steele Calls for Sunderland to Be 'Tough and Hard' to Get Past Preston Test

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Deserve the Flak, Keeper Admits; Steele Calls for Sunderland to Be 'Tough and Hard' to Get Past Preston Test

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner Sports Writer @StuRayner

JASON Steele expects the recriminations from Sunderland's limp 5-2 defeat at Ipswich Town to continue for much of the week, and while he wants his team-mates to hurt now, he warned they must have put it to one side by Saturday's Preston clash.

This season the Black Cats have won only three times - at Norwich City in their first Championship away game, and on League Cup trips to lower-division Bury and Carlisle United.

After the 2-1 defeat at Cardiff City, manager Simon Grayson and striker James Vaughan in particular were vocal about the importance of hard work, yet recalled goalkeeper Steele felt Sunderland were found wanting in East Anglia. Grayson did not hide his anger when speaking to the media on Tuesday night, and Steele revealed there had been harsh words in the dressing room too.

"Rightly so," he said. "I think that will be followed by a few more over the next couple of days. We've got to go out on Saturday and whoever plays has got to win a football match.

"Maybe it just needs to be the lads Turn to Page 48 FROM BACK PAGE [talking], just with each other. I don't know. There's only so much the manager can do.

"It's the lads who cross the white line and for the first half, even for 75 minutes [at Ipswich] it was... yeah, rubbish."

Steele was relegated from the Championship with Blackburn Rovers last season. He felt a lack of effort was a big factor and he saw it again at Portman Road.

"It has a lot to do with how hard you work," he said. "We should never have gone down last year because we were better than a lot of teams but you have to work hard in this league and if you don't, like the first half [on Tuesday]...

"Are they [Ipswich] a better team than us on paper? You wouldn't say yes, would you? You'd say no straight away but hard work beats talent if talent doesn't work hard. …

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