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Kieran Richardson rallies Sunderland teammates as relegation threat increases
Published : 22 Feb 2010 13:48:59
Richardson issued the rallying call as he prepared to help his team secure their first top-flight win since last November when Fulham head to Wearside on Sunday. Richardson returned to action following injury last weekend and despite being unable to prevent Sunderland suffering a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal that stretched their winless Premier League run to 13 matches he remains optimistic. "The more players the manager gets back the better because we certainly need to pull some performances out of the bag now," the former Manchester United and England player. "The injuries we've had have been unbelievable, but these are the cards we've been dealt and we have to get on with it. "Not many teams go to Arsenal and create the chances that we did and I think we showed that we have enough quality to stay away from relegation. "I was having my second game in two months and Anton came back so they should be positives for us because we all need to be in there fighting. "The more we play the fitter we get and this feels like the start of the season for me. I definitely want a big finish and do my bit to get us out of trouble." Sunderland may have lost at Premier League title chasers Arsenal but Richardson is hoping they re-produce the tenacity they showed at the Emirates when Fulham head to the Stadium of Light. The 25-year-old added: "I thought we did well. Arsenal have quality players and flew out of the blocks. We expected that. "We got in 1-0 at half-time and the gaffer said we just had to stay in the game; try not to concede early in the second half. "We did that and at 1-0 we were always in with a chance. We showed good fighting qualities and that's what we'll need for the rest of the season Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon has also been encouraged by the performance against Arsene Wenger's side. "We just need one win," Gordon said. "We've potentially got four home games on the bounce and that will be a crucial time for us. Play like we did against Arsenal and show similar effort, I've no doubt we'll turn things around." "We win, lose, draw as a squad. It's unfortunate when you lose your place, but you take it on the chin like a man. It's important we keep faith with the manager's judgement. "The lads up front have got us out of jail a few times this season, but we can't always rely on them to do that. It's up to us in the defence to our bit too and I think by and large we have done that today. If we keep creating chances I know they will stick them away."