DANNY ROSE says Sunderland cannot afford to let the end of their unbeaten run have long-term repercussions.
The Black Cats took 16 points from nine games prior to Saturday’s loss at Reading, to create a healthy buffer with the relegation zone.
But defeat at the Madejski Stadium has left Sunderland looking over their shoulders once more, albeit there are still eight points between Martin O’Neill’s side and third bottom Wigan.
Left-back Rose knows the complexion of the Premier League table can change quickly, and cites the example of West Ham and Norwich, who have both been on the slide after winning just three times between them over the last 10 games.
And the England Under-21 international has urged the Black Cats to ensure the points tally begins to tick over once more when Arsenal visit the Stadium of Light this weekend, after the three-game unbeaten streak was halted by resurgent Reading.
Rose said: “We’ve got to think back to what we were doing a few games ago, when we were picking up wins like Wigan away and West Ham at home, and try to put Arsenal under a lot of pressure.
“We had a great run with five wins out of eight games.
“Teams have had their run of luck where they picked up points – Norwich and West Ham had great starts to the season. But now they’ve hit a brick wall, and struggled to pick up points.
“We’ve lost against Reading, and we’ve got a hard game against Arsenal, where we’ve got to put it right.
“After that, we don’t play for two weeks, so everyone has to work hard for each other against Arsenal.”
On-loan Spurs defender Rose’s North London links give the 22-year-old a particular incentive for Sunderland to thrive against the Gunners.
And it may be an opportune moment for Sunderland to face Arsenal, with Arsene Wenger’s side winning just two of their last six Premier League outings.
“From a personal point of view I’m looking forward to the game, but at the same time, it’s not going to be easy,” added Rose.
“Arsenal are having a stop-start season with their results, but they won last weekend, and they’re four points off fourth now.
“They’ll be coming up here wanting to win the game.”