Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill says his side must deal with increased expectations

Martin O'Neill knows Sunderland fans now expect more of his revitalised side.
Martin O'Neill knows Sunderland fans now expect more of his revitalised side.
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MARTIN O’NEILL says Sunderland must cope with increased expectations now they have demonstrated they can put a good Premier League run together.

When the Irishman took over at the Stadium of Light in December, both of their last opponents in recent weeks, Wolves and Aston Villa, were above them.

But – five months on – Sunderland’s failure to beat the West Midlands pair this month has been greeted with frustration and disappointment.

“The players raised the bar and maybe that’s why our last home game, against Wolves, was such a disappointment.

“Don’t get me wrong, it would have been a disappointment anyway because it was just a poor game, but it was doubly disappointing because we are now expected to beat Wolves – whereas four months ago it would have been touch-and-go.”

Read more of Graeme Anderson’s interview in today’s Sportmail.