Sunderland supporters can carry us through tough times – Graham

Danny Graham in action for Sunderland against Liverpool.

Danny Graham in action for Sunderland against Liverpool.

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DANNY GRAHAM says Sunderland have to give the Stadium of Light something to shout about in tomorrow’s crunch clash against West Brom.

It has been a tense week in the relationship between Gus Poyet’s men and Sunderland supporters after defeat to travel-sick QPR was followed up by last weekend’s FA Cup humiliation against Bradford.

Head coach Poyet attempted to defuse the situation yesterday by taking the unusual step of issuing an open letter to Black Cats fans.

But after just two Stadium of Light Premier League wins all season, Sunderland need to make it count on the pitch tomorrow against a side lying just two points and one place above them in the table.

Sunderland striker Graham said: “The fans are brilliant and we’re going to need them, especially for the home games.

“To get them behind us, singing and making it a difficult place to come.

“I think that does start from us, through a tackle or shot early on to get everyone going.

“We’re going to need the fans and hopefully we can put on a performance tomorrow for them.

“Three points will give everyone a lift after the last couple of results.

“Hopefully we can string a few results together and pull away from the danger zone.

“We need to start better. The last couple of games haven’t been great. It took a long time for us to get going against QPR at home, which was a big game.

“We have to make sure we get those three points.”

Graham made no attempt to defend Sunderland’s display against League One Bradford - admitting the Black Cats were well below-par.

But despite FA Cup humiliation, Sunderland still have plenty to do to secure their Premier League status, with a precarious two-point gap separating Poyet’s side from the bottom three.

Graham added: “We were all disappointed at Bradford obviously. It was a good chance to have a good cup run.

“Bradford played the pitch a lot better than us. It was a typical FA Cup game, meaty challenges and the upset was very disappointing for us.

“I thought we could have done a lot better as a team. Now we need to concentrate on the league, be focused and be ready for a tough game against West Brom.

“We’ve got to concentrate on the bigger picture and the bigger picture is the Premier League.”