O’Neill eyes first Sunderland victory at West Ham

Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill

MARTIN O’Neill goes in search of the victory tomorrow which would put a positive gloss on Sunderland’s start to the season.

But he says that even if Sunderland draw with West Ham United at Upton Park tomorrow afternoon, it will not be the end of the world.

“We’re in a funny position in the league at the moment because we’ve played a game less than pretty much everyone else,” he reflected.

“If we’d all played 16 or 17 games then it wouldn’t be so important but because we’ve only played three and they’ve played four, it makes more of a difference.

“There’s also the stop-start nature of the season too – we’re more than a month into it but still only a handful of games have been played.

“It makes it difficult to judge.

“Personally, I can’t have too many complaints about our start because we’ve had two very difficult games away from home – we got a draw at Arsenal, which increasingly looks a good result and a draw at Swansea who had been flying.

“It might look a lot better if the Reading game hadn’t been called off because we were on a bit of a high with the Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher signings and really looking forward to it.

“But as it was, our first home game was against a side as good as Liverpool, and it proved a hard one for us.

“I’ve got to be satisfied with getting a point from all those games but of course it would be nice to get a win and if we get it against West Ham tomorrow, the league will look good much better for us.

“But even if we get a draw, it will be another useful point away from home and we’ll have to look for the victories that will inevitably come further down the line.

“Stoke City have drawn all of their first four games and I think that looking at the games they had and the opponents they faced, they’ll be happy with that.”

– Graeme Anderson