ANTHONY Reveillere is braced for the first breathless festive programme of his decorated career.
Sunderland face the first of five games inside a fortnight this weekend, when they head to St James’s Park looking to register an unprecedented fourth successive victory over Newcastle United.
During his playing days in both France and Italy, Sunderland full-back Reveillere has annually enjoyed a fortnight’s breather over the Christmas period.
But the former France international faces a very different experience this year, and the 35-year-old is well aware of the mental battles with fatigue that await him.
Reveillere told the Gazette: “In France, you play the weekend before Christmas and then it stops until January 5.
“I don’t like that because you lose a bit of conditioning and preparation.
“But here it’s the complete opposite with a lot of matches that are tiring.
“You have to prepare mentally for that to play every two or three days.
“But it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.”
Sunderland head into the festive programme in mixed spirits after ending West Ham’s run of three successive wins with a 1-1 Stadium of Light draw on Saturday.
But there was a frustration with yet another game finishing all-square, as Sunderland’s tally of Premier League draws entered double figures.
Reveillere was not too despondent though and believes there are opportunities for Sunderland to end a six-game winless run in their next three outings against Newcastle, Hull and Aston Villa.
“West Ham are doing well and are in a good place in the league, so it was always going to be difficult,” he added.
“We were perhaps unlucky not to get the three points which would have boosted our league position.
“But it’s good. We need to continue like that and prepare well for the derby.
“We had the chances to win. But it’s true that they could say the same thing.
“Despite the draws, I still think our confidence is good and we’re defending well.
“We’re giving all of our efforts in every game for a victory. Hopefully that win will come soon.
“Things could be better, but they could be a lot worse.
“We’ve got chances to start winning in the next three games, in the derby, Hull and Aston Villa.”