Sunderland’s bottom against top clash with Chelsea will inspire the players not frighten them.
That was the message from Billy Jones as the Black Cats prepare to face the Premier League leaders tomorrow night.
It’s a fantastic match to play.
Eighteen teams and 26 points separate the two clubs but Jones insists it is NOT a mission impossible as Sunderland chase a third consecutive Stadium of Light victory.
“Most definitely,” said the right-back ahead of the first of two home games in the space of four days. “Obviously it’s a massive game.
“Even though we are at home it’s a match Chelsea will be seen as favourites but we’ll be working hard on the training pitch before then to come up with the game plan to hopefully give us a chance to get the three points.
“It’s a fantastic match to play, they have great individual players and a very good team.
“We have back-to-back home games and we’ve spoken about wanting our home form to be strong as it has to be.
“Hopefully we can show that in the next two matches.”
Jones is one of the players at the club who was part of the squad that pulled themselves out of trouble last season.
While the 29-year-old says that is a useful attribute to have, he points out that the current Black Cats side have displayed enough in recent weeks to suggest they can get out of trouble, pre-Swansea at any rate.
“I think we have quite a lot of lads who have the experience of knowing what to do to get out of trouble,” he said.
“We need to get back to that standard we were at when we won three out of four and show consistency.
“If we do that I think we will win more games than we’ll lose.
“It’s about us getting back to that level of performance as a team and hopefully show that against Chelsea.”
Jones explained there was great frustration in the squad that after taking a few steps forward they had encountered a costly stumble.
Had Sunderland won against Swansea they would have moved out of the bottom three.
As it was, the 3-0 defeat condemned them to a return to the basement position, but with a further 12 points on offer in December, he knows all is not lost.
“That is why we knew Saturday was such a massive game,” he said.
“We were hoping to create some daylight between ourselves and the rest of the guys down there, but it was not to be.
“Obviously we still know December is a massive month.
“Burnley [on New Year’s Eve] is the halfway point of the season so we know we need to have a good Christmas period which obviously everyone else is trying to do.”