ONSIDE: Vicious circle hovers above Sunderland

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HAVEN’T we been here before?

A run of bad results, not much attacking football on show and the fans starting to get on the players’ and manager’s back.

In December it seemed as if everyone was ready to see Martin O’Neill leave as the Sunderland manager before two wins against Southampton and Manchester City turned everyone around.

But now we are back to square one and the vicious circle that proceeds around the Sunderland manager’s job continues.

You get the job, do well, lose a few, fans don’t like it, get sacked.

And then it all starts again.

It seems as if O’Neill survived this wheel of misfortune the first time round and I believe that a couple of wins will help him and the Sunderland players out of the relegation dogfight we appear to be in.

Just six points separate Sunderland and Wigan in 18th and we all know what they can do at this stage of the season.

A home game against Norwich City on Sunday has gone from a need to win to a must, must win after a disappointing 3-1 defeat at QPR.

The reason being we face Manchester United and very likely Chelsea before the Tyne-Wear derby at St James’ Park on April 13.

We then face bogey-side Everton and relegation battlers Aston Villa before Stoke and Southampton at home and finishing off away to Tottenham.

All of which are difficult games considering the circumstances of ll the teams and where they are in the table.

If O’Neill stays, and I hope he does, after the summer then he must improve our side dramatically.

At the back we have been dreadful with Titus Bramble, despite his critics, being the best defender we have alongside John O’Slow, sorry, O’Shea.

Then playing two centre midfielders at full-back has not helped so the purchase of Danny Rose is all the more important.

At QPR our bench consisted of five defenders, a defensive midfielder and a goalkeeper.

Tell me how you are supposed to change a game at 1-1 against bottom of the league with no Connor Whickham or Fraiser Campbell who are on loan and sold respectively.

Hopefully we can get at least three wins in the final nine games as I think all are going to be difficult.

But I think everyone would settle for the one if it came against a team in black and white as long as we stay up.

Ha’way the lads.

– MARTIN DUNN