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Monday, March 18, 2013
Mignolet: It's hard to switch off

Kristan Heneage

Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet says there is no respite from the pressure of the relegation fight despite the impending international break.

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Mignolet, 24, has been in stellar form this season and will hope his performances can help him reclaim his Belgium place from Thibaut Courtois for the two World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia.

Nonetheless, he will find it hard to forget his concerns over his club, with Sunday's 1-1 draw against Norwich leaving the team just four points clear of the drop zone.

"It's a change of scenery, but it doesn't mean you switch off," he told the Sunderland Echo. "A couple of the lads are away with the national teams over the next few weeks and then we've got six or seven weeks until the end of the season when we have to make sure we get the points we want.

"I'll go away with Belgium for two very important games. My main focus will obviously be on that. But we have to make sure that when we come back for the game against [Manchester] United - we're ready for that one."

He added: "The longer it goes on without the results you want then obviously confidence in the team is going to drop. That's only logical. But we're professional footballers. We have to look at our own performances and make sure we get the points we want. There's enough in the dressing room to get the points we need."

Mignolet expressed frustration that the club had failed to claim a victory in the Norwich game, with opposite number Mark Bunn having been sent off for handling outside his area after only 30 minutes.

"We're disappointed because we had a great chance to get three points and unfortunately we didn't manage that," he said. "We got back into the game after the red card and a goal from Gards [Craig Gardner]. We had to push on in the second half then, but we didn't get enough chances to get the win we wanted."

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