Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Cup Final' Talk Starts Early for Cats; Players Need Stronger Mentality to Win Games, Says Oviedo

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Cup Final' Talk Starts Early for Cats; Players Need Stronger Mentality to Win Games, Says Oviedo

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner Sports Writer @sturayner

FAILING to beat Brentford on Saturday means Sunderland need to approach their next game like a cup final according to Bryan Oviedo.

The Black Cats' surrendered a 3-1 half-time lead at Griffin Park for their third consecutive draw.

Second-bottom of the Championship without a win in 11 games, their next two are at home, to Bristol City and Bolton - one place below them.

"We need to treat the next game like a final because it is important for us, especially with it being at home," said left-back Oviedo, who made two of Sunderland's goals. "We needed to start winning games at home.

"We're working so hard and I will put everything into winning the next game."

A Lewis Grabban penalty, adding to his 13th-minute equaliser, and an Oviedo corner goalkeeper Daniel Bentley dropped over his line, left the Wearsiders well placed to claim a much-needed win at half-time but three minutes after the interval, a free-kick was harshly awarded against Didier Ndong and Florian Jozefzoon scored it. From there Turn to Page 44 FROM BACK PAGE Brentford claimed a point, Jozefzoon's shot deflecting in off Neil Maupay.

"We're improving every game," Oviedo insisted. "We're really close to winning but we need a bit stronger mentality, a winning mentality to close the games out.

"If we'd controlled the first 10 minutes of the second half, we would have won. They scored so early in the second half, it gave them the encouragement to fight.

"The problem for us was that their second goal was so easy for them. The first 10 minutes (of the second half) is the most important period sometimes, especially when you are in front, but we didn't take control and they scored.

"We are a team fighting to get back into the Premier League next season. We have very good players but we need to believe in ourselves. …

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