Sunderland have to give Leicester a taste of their own medicine in next weekend’s decisive encounter for both clubs, insists Fabio Borini.
The Black Cats’ dwindling hopes of remaining in the Premier League next season may rest on causing a huge upset against league leaders Leicester City next Sunday after Sam Allardyce’s men fell four points adrift of safety.
Leicester moved seven points clear at the summit with a victory over Southampton yesterday, yet Sunderland remain third bottom after their inability to find a breakthrough against West Brom was coupled by Norwich’s last-gasp winner against relegation rivals Newcastle.
The balance between attack and defence has been a problem throughout this campaign for Sunderland, with a first clean sheet since November coinciding with a blank at the other end for only the second time in the last seven games.
In contrast, Leicester have won five of their last six games 1-0, and Sunderland forward Borini says that is exactly what is required on Sunday for the Black Cats.
“Leicester are top of the league because they win 1-0, and we draw 0-0,” said Borini.
“That’s what they’ve been doing well all season.
“I hope it continues to go well for them, but not next week because we need the points, if not more.
“We have to put everything in and make life hard for them.
“It’s four points and there’s still seven games to go. We’ve been in a lot worse situations before.
“Teams will still drop points and we can get wins against the Premier League leaders because the division is so crazy this year.
“Four points is not a lot. We’ve still got to go to Norwich and we’ve got a game in hand.”
Sunderland produced 22 shots on goal against the Baggies, with Vito Mannone not even called upon to make a save at the other end.
But Sunderland couldn’t find the elusive precision with their finishing, albeit Borini was one of several players denied by the reflexes of West Brom keeper Ben Foster.
“They didn’t have a shot on target, but we had two games worth of attempts,” added the Italian.
“We did everything we could. If it had been a different keeper – or if we had a little bit of luck – then we’d have won the game and be talking differently.
“But we got a point and a clean sheet, which has been hard for us.
“We’ll take that and we’re still in it.
“We’ve missed that little bit which puts us in front or keeps us in front – Southampton, Newcastle, Palace and again on Saturday.
“I’m not saying we could have got 12 points (from those four games) but we could have got a lot more.
“But we got a clean sheet and if we can get more of them before the end of the season, then we’ll get better results.”