Home comforts can warm Sunderland this winter

FIGHTING FIT ... David Vaughan.
FIGHTING FIT ... David Vaughan.

DAVID Vaughan wants to see Sunderland fans walking in a winter wonderland at the Stadium of Light as regular football returns to Wearside.

The Black Cats have played only four of their 11 Premier League games at home this season, but have six of their remaining nine games this year on home soil.

Four of Sunderland’s next five games are at home, and with the first anniversary of Martin O’Neill taking over the reins at Sunderland fast approaching, Vaughan would love to see the Black Cats go on the sort of scorching run which marked the Irishman’s arrival at the club.

He said: “We’ve had two tough away games against Fulham and Everton in the last couple of weeks, and that’s on top of a lot of away games we’ve played this season.

“Now we’ve got a bit of run of games at home, and it’s up to us to capitalise.

“If we can win our next couple of games and get some momentum going, we can start climbing that league table.

“We went on a great run in December last season when the new manager came in, and it set us off.

“There are a lot of games coming up next month, and we need to put together another good set of results.

“We’re finding a bit of form now, and there’s no reason why we can’t get a decent points return in the weeks ahead, especially with plenty of games at home.”

In-form West Bromwich Albion are at the Stadium of Light this Saturday, quickly followed by strugglers Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday.

But there will be a little less pressure on the shoulders of Sunderland’s players after a fine 3-1 win at Fulham last weekend.

Vaughan, who came on as a late substitute for Jack Colback at Craven Cottage, added: “It was a massive result for us on Sunday.

“We thoroughly deserved the three points after our second-half performance.

“There has been something lacking recently, but hopefully we have now turned the corner and we can go on from here.

“It’s going to be a tough game because West Brom are flying high at the moment and they’ll be full of confidence after beating Chelsea.

“They’ve had a great start to the season and they won’t be fearing anyone at the moment.

“But it is down to us to concentrate on what we can do and try to hurt them and get the three points.”

Vaughan is gradually regaining full match fitness after missing the start of the season following surgery on a trapped nerve in his stomach.

The 29-year-old volunteered to play as an over-age player in Sunderland U21s game against Newcastle on Monday, getting another 90 minutes under his belt.

“Derbies are always competitive, even at Under-21 level so it was a good game for me and the 90 minutes will be good for my fitness levels,” he said.

“I know it’s still a big jump going from the U21s to first-team level though.

“There have been a few games when I’ve come on for the final 20 minutes or so but by then sometimes the teams can be tiring a bit and the tempo is not quite the same as when you play the whole match.

“But I’m definitely close to full fitness and I just need a run of first-team games now to get back into form.”

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