Sunderland defender eyes cup win at Everton
Sunderland have halted the slide and now they are looking to get back on the winning trail '“ starting at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
That is the aim of defender Bryan Oviedo when the Black Cats travel to his former club on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup third round tie.
To say a victory over Everton is a tall order for Simon Grayson’s would be an understatement, but Oviedo says that must be the target.
Sunderland showed signs they might be turning a corner with a 1-1 Championship draw at Hull City on Saturday.
They were within nine minutes of what would have been a precious victory when former midfielder David Meyler stabbed in the equaliser at the KCOM Stadium, with the assistance of a deflection from Lamine Kone, which deceived the excellent Robbin Ruiter.
The Black Cats had led the fascinating feline battle with the Tigers from the 17th minute when James Vaughan headed home his first goal since his summer move from Bury.
In fact, Sunderland could have been home and dry before Meyler’s late intervention but for two superb Allan McGregor saves and a tremendous block by Stephen Kingsley, all when the score was 1-0.
The draw, though, has stopped the rot and now Oviedo is seeking a much-needed win.
“It’s not been easy, but I think we’ve improved, our attitude was good and we’ll continue fighting,” said the 27-year-old left-back.
“We now need to focus on the Carabao Cup game at Everton on Wednesday and win it.
“It’s really important for us and our confidence to start winning games.”
Confidence is a key commodity in football and Oviedo believes that it will have grown after that small step forward at the KCOM Stadium.
“Of course,” said the Costa Rican.
“We have a very good team and very good players, we need to improve now every time we play.
“It’s important for us to do that and keep looking forward.
“I hope we do that in our next games and start winning.”
Oviedo said there was frustration that Sunderland were unable to start that winning feeling on Saturday.
The Black Cats led for more than an hour and had openings to score more goals, leaving the former Everton defender viewing the 1-1 draw as a missed opportunity.
“I think we lost two points,” he said. “We got a point but we came to win.
“We played very well in the first half, but the second half was not easy – Hull changed their system, they played well and made a little trouble for us.
“It is normal for a home team to put pressure on in the second half, but we defended well, but I think the goal was really unlucky for us.
“It was not the result we wanted, but we made opportunities in the first half and we had opportunities at the start of the second as well.”
For all the angst at the club’s form at the Stadium of Light, perhaps Oviedo’s belief is not misplaced.
There are few problems on the road and the Black Cats go to Merseyside, having lost just once in six away cup and league matches this season.