April 23, 2024

Sunderland are trying to rebound from a dismal loss against Birmingham City.
Michael Beale has urged his Sunderland side to be positive and fast recover from their defeat to Huddersfield Town when they face Birmingham City.

The Black Cats lost one point behind the top six as a result of their disappointing midweek performance, but Beale says he would rather have his current collection of players than any other in the chasing pack. Patrick Roberts’ hamstring injury has hampered Beale’s preparations this week, but he is hopeful that Abdoullah Ba and Romaine Mundle can take on the workload.

“I think we’ve got enough talent in the room,” he added.

“We’re at a stage in the season where, naturally, there’ll be some doubts because there’s five or six teams within one point of each other so there’s five coaches probably feeling the same at the moment. Results are not going perfectly for anybody. What’s important is that we find the resilience that we need and the mental stamina that we need so that we don’t go into the games feeling down or too high from the previous game. We have to reset. It will be a different problem for us to solve this weekend.

We’re looking forward to going down to Birmingham for this game and showing a response and that’s our focus now. We need to get to the March international break within touching distance and then after that every game is a cup final. At this moment in time, it’s not a moment for panic. It’s a moment for taking a deep breath, there are some areas we can improve in – I would still prefer to be Sunderland manager than manager of some of the other clubs that are in that fight. So it’s positive. We have to go into each game knowing that this league is relentless and it’s important that we stick true to what we’re good at.


Michael Beale Profile


“The message I really want to send today is that every single three points we need to go for, and it’s not going to be perfect,” he added.

“We need to get to the March international break within shooting distance, where we are now or even better. After that, these positions will be decided and we know we went on a late run last year. We went into that last game knowing a win could take us on or a defeat would leave us in midtable, so we know it’s going to the wire and we know we’ll need a bigger points tally than last year. It’s a stronger league when you look at the top four.

“We’re one of six or seven teams in a fight for one or two spots so it’s not a time for doubt, it’s a time to reset and making sure our mentality is strong, and going to Birmingham and giving it everything. That’s the clear message to the players as well.”

Callum Styles could make his debut from the bench on Saturday afternoon, with Beale expected to make a late decision on whether to include him in the squad following training.


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