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PAUL WARY OF BLACK CATS

Posted on 1 December 2005  - 12:00

Paul Stalteri believes Sunderland could provide as tough a test as the succession of top six sides we’ve met in the last few weeks.

Paul Stalteri believes Sunderland could provide as tough a test as the succession of top six sides we’ve met in the last few weeks.

Our recent schedule has pitted us against the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Bolton and Wigan - all in the top six at the time - but now we face a Sunderland outfit sitting rock bottom of the Premiership.

However, the players have spoken this week of taking nothing for granted - they know any let up in the level of performances could result in what would be a shock defeat.

“Sunderland are fighting for their lives at the moment, so it might be even tougher than playing against other teams,†reasoned full-back Paul, who insisted a bright start was vital on Saturday.

We know they are down and we can’t let them get into the game early, if we give them any signs of hope they will build on that

“When you play teams at the bottom of the table they are in such a rut that sometimes it only takes a little glimmer of hope and all of a sudden they are up again and fighting.

“On the other hand, once you get up on them it will be difficult for them to come back, so hopefully we can do that. It may take a little longer than we think because they’ll be compact and try to be tough to break down but we have to go out and play with confidence, determination, score a goal and if we do that I’m confident we’ll come away with three points.â€Â

It could be a game where we’ll see ever-present Paul raiding up the right flank.

“You look to get forward as many times as you can in any game,†he added. “I always say you have to see how the game goes - if you can make six or seven runs forward in each half, you do that but if not, you don’t.

Hopefully it will be a game where we can open them up from both flanks and I’ll get forward as much as possible.â€Â