Ricky Sbragia: My Sunderland job is on line

07 April 2009 07:32
Sunderland have slipped to fourth-bottom of the Premier League due to a string of poor results and Sbragia has conceded that has left him feeling vulnerable.

"I don't think you are ever secure as a manager, no matter what support you have got," Sbragia said."I knew when I took the job on what was expected – I have to keep the club up, it's as simple as that.

 Related ArticlesFerdinand returs to Upton ParkBosnia striker targetedSunderland in great handsNewcastles Michael Owen bills Hull tie as most crucial match since he signedAlan Shearer can save Newcastle, says Sir John HallPremier League relegation battle"If I don't achieve that, I don't know what's going to happen. But I don't feel the pressure because I try not to read the papers or let the media spotlight get to me. I know what I have to do and I'm focused on that.

"I don't think any manager in my position, in charge of a club down there at the wrong end of the table, is safe. That's just part of football.' The former Manchester United reserves coach will pit his wits against Old Trafford counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson on Saturday at the Stadium of Light.

Sbragia said: "Against Manchester United, anything can happen. We have to hope that they maybe have an off-day and we have to be more adventurous.

"Manchester United have got Champions League games either side of this weekend and hopefully that might make a little bit of a difference." However, while Ferguson has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal Sbragia has a squad that lacks strength in depth.

The Scot added: "I feel at the moment that we have maybe 13 or 14 players that I would call genuine Premier League players – players who look comfortable at and deserve to be at that level – but ideally we want that number to be up towards the 20 mark."

It's a sentiment which Sbragia echoes, feeling that in the game against West Ham at the weekend, Sunderland lacked options and were struggling with players not entirely at full fitness.

"I'd probably have made a few more changes if I'd had the personnel.

"A few of them were away with their countries and a few of them were saying they were stiff and it's a problem to us.

"We haven't got the biggest of squads and we haven't got a squad full of talent.

"We felt against West Ham that the 12 players who trained over the last two weeks would be the ones we started with."


Source: Telegraph