Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Matthews: Title Is Cats' Top Priority

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Matthews: Title Is Cats' Top Priority

Article excerpt

Byline: STUART RAYNER Football writer stuart.rayner@reachplc.com @sturayner

A REVITALISED Adam Matthews says Sunderland will take automatic promotion any way it comes - but winning League One remains their priority.

Regardless of what happens at Fratton Park this afternoon, Portsmouth will be top of League One for Christmas but the Black Cats have two games in hand - and Matthews wants them to force the issue.

Victory in this weekend's sold-out game would go some way towards that, reducing the gap to the league leaders to two points.

Although Pompey have set an impressive pace in the first half of the season, Matthews insists winning the league is the top priority.

"It is a big game but we can go there confident after what we did in the second half against Bristol Rovers and the chances we created," said the Wales international, who scored the equaliser in that game.

"Hopefully we can get the win we need.

"Our target from the start was to win the league and that is no change, so we will be going there looking to close the gap.

"We would take top two but I think everyone in the team has one goal and that is to win the league. That is the main thing.

"You have to make things happen in football, they don't just happen, so we have to keep doing what we have been doing and winning games.

"It is looking good but we need to win those games in hand.

"We need to keep grinding out results and if we do then I cannot see anyone stopping us."

Pompey were able to set the pace by getting off to an excellent start to the season, while Sunderland also did very well but were not then at their best at they found their feet at a level the club had not played at for 30 years.

Former Celtic player Matthews had similar problems in the early weeks, a victim as manager Jack Ross flitted between back threes and fours - but is now established as a fixture at right-back. …

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