Sunderland’s Craig Gardner sounds rallying call

HAPPY TO STAY ... Sunderland's Craig Gardner.
HAPPY TO STAY ... Sunderland's Craig Gardner.

SUNDERLAND’S Craig Gardner says the Black Cats have bounced back once already from a disappointing defeat to Everton this season, and must do it again this weekend.

The midfielder was as shell-shocked as any of his team-mates on Bank Holiday Monday to be part of a side which shipped four goals without reply in a torrid second half at Goodison Park.

But he says Sunderland must look forward rather than back, and try to erase the memory of the Blues battering with a win over Wolves.

“We need to bounce back quickly – like we did after the Everton defeat in the cup,” he said.

“I think everyone thought we would go to Man City and get a hiding after losing in the cup, but we were 3-1 up with 10 minutes to go.

“We have shown a number of times this season we can respond to a bad defeat, and we will try and do that again at the weekend. Wolves are not relegated yet so you never know what can happen. They will be fighting for every point, so we need to be on our game on Saturday.

“It is unlike us to come away and lose like that. We are normally hard to beat.

“We have shown that against Manchester City, and all season really, but we need to move on now and get three points on Saturday.

“We are not just going to draw a line under it, we need to look at some points, watch the video and see what we can do better in different situations.

“However we cannot dwell on it too long because it is a defeat and when you are beaten, you need to move on to the next game as quickly as possible.”

The 25-year-old admits though that the defeat to the club’s bogey team was tough to take.

“The Everton defeat is hard to take, to be honest,” he sighed.

We were well beaten, says Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill

“We went to Man City and we got a great result there, although we should have won.

“We had a good result against Tottenham and if, we had gained a result at Goodison, it would have been a brilliant three games for us.

“It is difficult to play two games in three days.

“I am not making excuses because both teams have done it, but fair play to Everton, they worked hard and did well, and I would like to wish them all the best for Saturday, when they play Liverpool in the semi-final, as well.

“It works both ways – they have had games on Saturday and Monday as well.

“We have five games left, so we just need to win as many as we can between now and the end of the season.

“We don’t have a target, we just want to finish as high as possible.

“Hopefully we can finish in the top eight and if we do that we have had a great season to finish there and get to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

“That is a really good season, but we need to get out there and put it right – starting on Saturday.”

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