Desperately disappointed by last weekend’s FA Cup semi-final defeat, our outstanding full-back admitted Tuesday night’s win against Bradford City helped ‘get the anger out’ and he’s now looking forward to big clashes against Sunderland, Chelsea and Liverpool in the next eight days.
With boss Glenn Hoddle harbouring outside hopes of reaching European places in the Premiership a win is crucial at the Stadium of Light.
“We can’t let ourselves down,” said Stephen. “We’ve some big games coming up for the club and it’s important to keep going for the supporters as well.
"It could be worse. We could be playing the so-called lesser teams and having real battles, like Bradford the other night. They are not the best games to play in.
“At least with the likes of Sunderland, Chelsea, Liverpool, these are very difficult games but the games you want to play. It keeps you on your toes until the end of the season.”
Meanwhile, Stephen joined team-mate Gary Doherty in praising Niall Quinn - their Irish international colleague is expected to return to Sunderland’s starting line-up after injury on Saturday.
Stephen added: “Sunderland is always a tough place to go and they are doing well. They’ve also just got Quinny back and they’ve missed him, that’s why their results have dropped off a little of late.
“Over the last few years I think he’s had his best seasons. He’s been brilliant. He’s got a great touch and his presence up there, he just doesn’t miss out on much.
“Phillips has missed playing off him and it’s a big plus for them. He can hold it up and has such a great touch for a big man. He’s a great player to play off as a centre-forward.”
Stephen Carr says it is vital we don’t let ourselves down between now and the end of the season.