April 23, 2024

Sunderland midfielder Dan Neil responds to the club’s seven-game losing streak and fans’ displeasure.
Dan Neil believes there is no worse feeling than having nothing to play for and wants Sunderland to come out firing following the international break.

The Black Cats have taken just one point from their previous seven games, falling 13 points behind the Championship play-off places with a nine-point gap to the relegation zone. Sunderland’s season has stalled, which is especially unfortunate given that the team finished sixth last season and is now aiming for a return to the Premier League.

“It is frustrating. Neil stated, “I believe I’ve been in the stands during previous implosions.” “I believe everything has been nice and dandy in recent years, and everything has gone well. I think this year was going to be difficult anyway.

“I think everyone was just delighted last year; we were tenth, then ninth, and now we’re in the playoffs. I believe that has created a great deal of ambition among the supporters, and I understand why. I believe that when you finish sixth one year, even as players, you want to finish fifth, fourth, or compete for the top two.

“It just hasn’t worked out for us this year, and we have to blame ourselves. We need to assume some responsibility. The mentality still exists among the gang, and we will continue to fight. The final eight games are significant, and we will strive to win them all.

“I was saying the other day that you don’t want to go into the last few games of the season playing for nothing, because it breeds a bit of, possibly, laziness since we can’t go up or down. That is why, following this international break, we must hit the ground running and put together a run so that we can have a sense of what to expect in each game.

 

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“I believe there is no worse sensation than having nothing to play for. I believe we should utilize this international break as a chance to regroup and finish the season strong.”

While Neil is a lifelong Sunderland fan, several of the club’s new international recruits are still adjusting to playing for the Black Cats and the responsibilities that come with it. When asked if Hemir and Nazariy Rusyn understand what it means to play for Sunderland, Neil replied: “I believe you can try and teach them all you want, but at the end of the day, they haven’t even been here a year, so it’s not going to sink in with them just yet.

“I am confident it has a lot, especially given the recent run of form. Our fans are vocal both when we win and when we lose, which is why they are among the greatest in the country, if not the world. It will take time for them to realize it; many of these youngsters are really young lads who have taken a huge risk by leaving their home country at such a young age to pursue a career in football.

“Coming to a club of this size under this much pressure will be difficult for them. We have to stick by these young men who have come over because it is not due to a lack of effort; everyone is striving to win games and do well for this football club, so I believe we have to give them time.”

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