REUTERS - Bottom-placed Sunderland will have a fighting chance of Premier League survival if they can win five of their remaining 11 games but history suggests it may not be enough, the Black Cats captain John O‘Shea has said.
Sunderland, seven points adrift of safety, still have to play five of the six teams immediately above them - Middlesbrough, Hull City, Swansea City, Leicester City and Bournemouth.
”If we win those five games, as the manager says, we’ll give ourselves a chance,“ O’Shea told British media. ”It might not be enough. You could win six, seven, it might not be enough.
”I was watching the Premier League Years a few days ago and remember some of the teams, the runs they went on to try and stay in it and were so unlucky.
“Ultimately, as we know ourselves from the last few years, if we do our own job, that takes care of it.”
Italian striker Fabio Borini has welcomed Jan Kirchhoff’s return from injury, believing the midfielder can have a major say in the battle for survival.
Kirchhoff, who featured in an under-23 game against Manchester United last week, joined Sunderland from Bayern Munich in January 2016 and the German played a crucial role in helping the side avoid the drop last season.
“Jan is a big guy,” Borini told the club website. “That is the kind of player we have missed in midfield because he can do both transitions -- offensive and defensive -- in a very good manner.”
Sunderland host 12th-placed Burnley on Saturday.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Trevelyan