Duncan Watmore: Busy schedule is just what Sunderland need

Duncan Watmore
Duncan Watmore

Three games in the space of six days can help struggling Sunderland kick-start their season, believes Duncan Watmore, writes Richard Mennear.

The Black Cats remain without a Premier League win after the shocking second-half collapse to Everton, with Romelu Lukaku scoring an eleven minute hat-trick.

But a busy schedule of league and EFL Cup games against Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace presents an opportunity to gain some much-needed momentum.

Defeat to Everton extended Sunderland’s dismal run of games without a Premier League win in August and September to 27, going back to 2012.

In the 27 games, Sunderland have drawn 13 times and lost 14.

David Moyes takes his Sunderland side to White Hart Lane on Sunday (kick-off 4.30pm), looking to break that awful run of form.

“Yes, I think we have to get back on it quickly,” Watmore told the Gazette, when asked if three games in six days could help spark some momentum.

“We have to make sure we win some games and get the confidence and belief going.

“The game is on the television again.

“It is a good chance for us to improve and to make sure we put on a better performance for the fans.”

After Spurs, Sunderland are back in the capital next Wednesday for the EFL Cup third round clash with QPR, ahead of the visit of Crystal Palace to the Stadium of Light a week Saturday.

Watmore insists the squad remain positive and are not dwelling on their poor start, which sees Sunderland second-bottom with one point from their opening four league games.

“We needed to start well this season and we haven’t done that in the first couple of games,” added the England Under-21 international.

“Clearly we need more points.

“It sounds the same over but we need to turn it around quickly and make sure we get out of this situation that we always seem to find ourselves in.

“We can do that, we are positive.

“We are only four games in, we are not going to get into that mind set, we need to stay positive.”

It was the nature of the second-half collapse to Everton that caused most concern, with Sunderland torn apart by Lukaku - who twice scored from free headers on his way to bagging the matchday ball.

“It is hard to explain,” added Watmore, when asked what the players put the collapse to Everton down to.

“The defending, from all of us, was not good enough.

“Fans deserve better, we can certainly play better and if we had just consolidated for those ten minutes after the first goal, who knows what could have happened.

“We could have gone onto nick it but that is a big if.

“We know we need to do better and will try to do that at Tottenham on Sunday.

“The message at half-time was to work on a few things and to try and get a winner but unfortunately we were slack and for whatever reason we didn’t do that.

“We have to deal with it.

“It is annoying, frustrating but we have to go again.”