James Vaughan pinpoints waht Sunderland players must do to turn season around

James Vaughan put in an all-action performance against Cardiff
James Vaughan put in an all-action performance against Cardiff

‘Gutted’ James Vaughan says hard work is the only solution to Sunderland’s woes this season.

The Black Cats have now lost five of their nine Championship games this term and, while Vaughan was applauded by fans at the end of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Cardiff, the target man says he and his team-mates have ‘let everyone down’.

The summer signing from Bury said: “It’s a depressing feeling. We’ve come here to win the game and we haven’t done that.

“We’ve let ourselves and everyone else down – no-one in that dressing room is happy at the minute.

“Games come thick and fast, we’ve got to get our heads down ahead of Tuesday (away to Ipswich).

“You can only do it through hard work, staying together, pulling people up when they’re struggling.

“Eventually, something will drop for us and we’ll take it from there.

“The fans, rightly so, are gutted, and you could hear that at the end of the game.

“I promise you no one feels worse than me and I’m eager to put that right on Tuesday and so are the rest of the lads.”

Sunderland’s build-up to the game was rocked as deadline-day signings Jonny Williams and Callum McManaman became late absentees through illness and injury respectively.

Vaughan, however, said there were no excuses for the side’s poor form and called on his team-mates to put together a complete performance at Portman Road on Tuesday night.

Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town have made a strong start to the season and sit in sixth place in the table, but were beaten 3-2 by Leeds United on Saturday.

Vaughan said of the absent pair: “They’re two vital players, two great players, but we had great players coming in as well, so there’s no excuses.

“It’s just about hard work now.

“It’s all right doing it for 20 minutes here and there, but the game is 90 plus and we need to manage right through to the end.

“So far this season we haven’t done that and we need to be better.

“I’m part of a team that’s losing, so I’m gutted.”

Despite his honest appraisal of Sunderland’s struggles, Vaughan insists that it is still too early in the season to be overly concerned about the league table, with Sunderland third-bottom after a fifth of the programme.

He said: “I don’t think you can look at the league table.

“We’re not conning ourselves, we know where we’re at, we know what we’ve got to do, but I think it’s too early for that.”