Football: Noz Sets Cats Top Challenge

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), August 17, 2007 | Go to article overview

Football: Noz Sets Cats Top Challenge


Byline: By JAMES HUNTER

NYRON NOSWORTHY believes Sunderland should be looking to finish in the top half of the Premiership this season.

The Black Cats go to Wigan tomorrow looking to keep up their unbeaten start to the campaign, having beaten Spurs on the opening day and drawn at Birmingham on Wednesday night.

Nosworthy was a member of the side which crashed out of the Premiership with a record-low points tally two seasons ago.

However, the centre-back insists it is a different Sunderland which has returned to the top flight this time around.

Boss Roy Keane has already said the word 'survival' does not figure in his vocabulary and Nosworthy agrees, saying the Wearsiders must aim high.

He said: "I thought before the season started that this was a totally different club compared to last time we went up.

"We are unbeaten so far and the fact we gained a draw at Birmingham without putting in one of our better performances was great for confidence.

"When we went 1-0 down at Birmingham, I knew we would come back into it.

"With the belief and quality we have, and the manager the way he is, hopefully we can finish in the top 10."

Wigan were promoted with Sunderland in 2005 but, while the Black Cats lasted just one season in the Premiership that time, the Latics stayed in the top flight and also survived last season, albeit on the last day of the campaign.

Reading, who were promoted last season and went on to finish eighth in their first year in the Premiership, also proved it is possible for a Championship club to make the transition.

Nosworthy added: "Wigan know what the Premiership is all about now and will not make it easy for us.

"We can look at Reading last season as a great example.

"They had good players and played excellent football, but it was important they all worked very hard for each other. We did that all last season and we are already doing that this season. We still have that neversay-die attitude."

Sunderland drew 2-2 against Birmingham at St Andrews in midweek and Nosworthy admits he and his teammates were disappointed with the goals they conceded.

He said: "Defensively, we want to do better at Wigan than we did at Birmingham because the goals we conceded were not great. However, we are two games unbeaten and that sounds great.

"It helps confidence to grow and we can go into games without being tentative."

Sunderland's new pounds 5m striker Michael Chopra has been in excellent form, scoring in both games so far. …

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