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O'Neill unhappy with Sunderland points total
Published : 03 Feb 2012 13:46:47
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill admits he worries constantly over the fight for Barclays Premier League points.
The Black Cats eased themselves on to 30 points with Wednesday night's resounding 3-0 victory over Norwich to take the Ulsterman's return since he replaced Steve Bruce at the helm to an impressive 19 from the 27 on offer.
That was enough to ease them into eighth place in the table and surely banish their fears of being dragged into the fight against relegation. However, when asked if he still frets over his side's vastly improved standing ahead of Saturday's tough trip to Stoke, O'Neill replied: "Every day, of course."
He added: "I remember saying to you here way back some weeks ago, the first ambition of mine was to try to get level points from the number of games we had played.
"That was the first thought so it would give you a little bit of respite, you would need that on the board, and then eventually, you would look to go past that.
"We were able to achieve that and then obviously, the winning of the games gives the players the confidence and self-belief to go on. Winning football matches is the be all and end all."
That has been largely what Sunderland have done since O'Neill's arrival, with seven victories, two draws and just two defeats comprising their run in all competitions, which currently leaves them just one place below Champions League regulars Arsenal.
He said: "Naturally, I am delighted for the points we have accumulated, and it's far more than we could ever have imagined and ever have expected at this stage.
"I am also mindful of the fact that we have a distance to go to make sure we get those extra points on the board, and while the eighth position seems pretty decent, it is not something I have always concerned myself about.
"You just try to keep the momentum going, which will be important because if you lose it, then you don't know where it comes from again."