Sunderland news

O'Shea ready for relegation scrap

March 13, 2013
By Kristan Heneage

John O'Shea believes Sunderland are facing nine potential 'cup finals' as they look to avoid the threat of relegation.

John O'Shea
PA PhotosJohn O'Shea feels the pressure of the relegation fight is similar to that he faced at Manchester United

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O'Shea, 31, joined Sunderland in 2011 having spent over a decade with Manchester United, during which time he was regularly contesting for the Premier League title.

With Sunderland, though, there are concerns that they could drop into the Championship, with the team currently just six points clear of the drop zone.

"It's not something I'm used to," he told the Sunderland Echo. "So you could say it's a new experience for me but, in its own way, I don't think it is any different from when you're chasing for a title - it's all about the importance of winning pressure games.

"You faced that all the time at Old Trafford and you got used to it, so it is not going to affect me playing in pressure games at the other end of the table. It all comes down to everyone in the team focusing completely on the job they've got to do, making sure they do it and looking to help out and support their team-mates along the way."

On Sunday, Sunderland host Norwich, who are currently three points ahead of the Black Cats.

O'Shea added: "While there's no denying the Norwich game is a massive one for us because it's the next one up and the next game is always the most important – I wouldn't say that it is like a cup final. There are nine games to go this season, so if you're talking cup finals, every one of them is a cup final - they're all opportunities to pick up points to get us towards safety."