Fit-again Jordi Gomez is confident that Sunderland will avoid their annual problems at the wrong end of the Premier League table, once the rust is knocked off.
Winless Sunderland’s best display of the campaign so far couldn’t prevent the Black Cats suffering their third defeat in five games yesterday after a late sucker-punch from Spurs kept Dick Advocaat’s side at the foot of the table.
I think we will only get better by the game and as the weeks go on.
Midfielder Gomez – surprisingly recalled to the starting XI after four months on the treatment table – was one of several players short on match fitness and that told in the final half-hour as Spurs began to exert some pressure.
However, the Spaniard believes that when the likes of summer signings Fabio Borini, Ola Toivonen and Jeremain Lens can get up to speed with their sharpness, then Sunderland’s fortunes will begin to improve after plenty of encouraging signs against Spurs.
Gomez told the Gazette: “I think we will only get better by the game and as the weeks go on.
“We deserved at least a point against Spurs and hopefully we can now take that into the next game.
“We had a very good game, created chances and were a bit unlucky at the end with the goal we conceded.
“I think that game will give us a lot of confidence to keep doing the same things.”
Gomez missed Sunderland’s pre-season after suffering a hair-line fracture to his knee-cap in a training ground collision at the end of last season.
The ex-Wigan man had enjoyed two games for the Under-21s after returning to full training, yet the 30-year-old admits he was taken aback by Advocaat’s decision to throw him straight into the fold.
“No, I didn’t expect to play in the starting XI, but I’ve been training hard to be ready,” said Gomez, who was preferred to Lee Cattermole, Jack Rodwell and Seb Larsson alongside the impressive Yann M’Vila.
“The manager asked me to play and I did my best.
“I haven’t had a pre-season with my team-mates, I had to do it on my own.
“But I’ve been training in the gym, doing the running and then playing with the Under-21s.
“And now I’m back in the team, which is good.
“It’s been quite hard to do it on my own.
“I got injured at the end of last season and then all you can do is get back as soon as possible.
“I’ve obviously missed a few games, but I’m just thinking about now and am happy to be back playing.
“We’ve got a big squad this season and there’s a lot of competition for places.
“Everyone has to play their part when they’re asked to play, and that’s what will make us better.”