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(Reuters) - Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell is confident that his side will survive the Premier League relegation battle as they have managed to pull through from far worse positions over the last couple of seasons.
The Black Cats, who are currently 18th in the league after 20 matches, avoided the drop after finishing 16th and 17th over the last two seasons.
"You look at it now, to be honest I think we have been in worse positions," said Rodwell, who has started 34 games for Sunderland without winning a single one of them.
"There have been times with five or six games to go and I have thought 'bloody hell'. That has been a lot worse than what I feel now."
Sunderland have won just once in their last six league games.
"We need to pick it up in the second half of the season, like we have in the last few seasons," Rodwell said. "The results haven't been there all the time, but the performances haven't been that bad, just some of the results.
"Obviously it can get better, but I don't think it's quite as bad as what the league shows at the moment. We know we have to get more points and we need to keep going."
Sunderland host Burnley in the third-round of the FA Cup on Saturday before shifting their focus back on the league clash against Stoke City on Jan. 14.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly