On The Effort Of His Players...
Tuesday night we did, for sure, absolutely. The game before that for 45 minutes, it’s not enough. The game before that 45 minutes, has to be 90, come what may, whatever the result is it’s got to be 90 minutes. We definitely got that on Tuesday night, I couldn’t fault them for their effort on Tuesday night.
On the Psychological Disadvantage...
Yeah, tough. But, we’ve been in the bottom three for some time, now we’re rock bottom. If we let everybody dictate to us and dictate how we feel, then we’re weak, all of us. It’s up to us, no matter whats been said about me, the team, the club, whatever outside of our group. People can say what they like, it’s their opinion and their entitled to that.
Within our group, it’s up to us to make sure we maintain a certain type of thinking. We’ve got no choice but to meet what’s in front of us, what are the choices? We can’t sit round when we’re in each others company with gloomy faces and woes, because there are enough people doing that for us. So, it’s only us that can change things round.
So, within the group we need to stay positive and keep a fighting spirit. I thought we had that on Tuesday night and that must continue.
On Joining Sunderland...
I’m not sorry I joined Sunderland football club. I always thought my experience, however long it’s going to be here - a year, two years, three years - we know what managing is like, we don’t know, would make me better.
The situation I’m in now is super tough, of course it is, it will still make me better. Anything I've ever achieved, generally I've had to struggle for it, sacrifice for it and come through hard times. We’re in hard times now, we’ve been written off, we’re a hopeless case, fine. Let’s see, let’s see if we can come through that little bit of adversity and prove people wrong.
But, I’m more than happy to be here and it’s funny to say that I’m enjoying my work, it’s strange to say that. But, I’m still a part of a big club, yeah we’re in tough times, but we’re still a big club. The problem is when you’re a big club and it’s going wrong, It can be a lot tougher because of the enormity and scale of the job. But again, i’ll keep saying it, if, IF we can get it going in the other direction, that’s one of the big reasons why I joined and why I came here.
I’m not out of time yet, we’re not out of time yet, we’re written off, fine. We’re rock bottom but we’ll see how we turn that around.
Staying in Touch With Teams Above...
When you look at the league and how many points you need to stay in the league. Everybody targets 40 in the Premier League, it’s rarely that actually, it’s normally a bit less. That’s the safety ground, you look at the Championship and how many points if you look at the last five or ten seasons.
Look at us now where we’ve been on a real bad run, 4 in 5 defeats on the back of a really good performance and a big three points. So, we’ve done that and then had a really big tail off and the results have left us bottom of the league. But, we’re still only three points away. So, we can look at that and think it could have been a lot, lot worse. Still though, when you’re stuck in the bottom three week in, week out, you’re taking a hit. Mentally its quite scarring, but you’re either going to crumble and you’re going to fold or it’s going to make you tougher.
We’ll win somewhere along the line, it’s got to be sooner rather than later. That’s where we’ve got to start using that win and that positivity as motivation to keep winning. That’s how we get away from where we are. I think now, from where we are, people look at that and they’ll think Sunderland will never win another game because of the negativity that’s with us. I saw enough on Tuesday night to think, we didn’t get three points or a point but what we got was a reaction and a performance. That’s what we have to build on and we have to stay positive with that.
On the Potential Sale of the Club...
Again, I’ve never spoken with the chairman. I think I’ve been here three months and I’ve never had a conversation with the chairman.
I’ve no idea about the price and I’ve no idea who, if there is someone, I’ve seen some of the reports about people interested but I can’t say to you that it’s close or it’s this. I’ve never ever spoken to the chairman, it’s tough. I’ve seen the reports, I’ve said what I’ve said but I couldn’t tell you anymore than that to be honest with you.
Is the Derby Element Added Pressure on Saturday?
I don’t think this is a derby for us though, the derby for us is Newcastle vs Sunderland. Like it or not, facts are facts, we see Newcastle and Newcastle sees Sunderland, that’s the derby game. I think Boro is a big game, they’re locals the same as Hull, we played them a month ago. I don’t look at this and think the added spice is a derby game, I see them as a team down the road and they’re fighting for different things for us.
No, I think for us it will be another tough game, they’ll be the fancied team. But, no I wouldn’t look at this game and think that we’ve got to contend with the derby situation, I don’t see it like that and I’ve never thought of it like that.
Dealing with the Negativity...
Yeah, I think it’s who motivates the motivator. I’ve said it all the way along about motivation, it has to come from an individual, the individual. Motivate yourself. Yeah, managers and coaches are there to guide and try to help, have game plans. Its amazing what you can do just by being positive and having a real determination. You can get by with a bit of talent, but you can get by a lot easier and go off a lot further with a real good mentality. That comes from self-motivation and self-discipline.
For me, these press conferences are tough, every game we lose and we’re down in the bottom three. Addressing the players, there’s another defeat, there’s another disappointment. Like I said earlier, for me, as a manager that’s got to improve me because I need to try and up my game, I need to try and get better and look for solutions.
Until you’ve been in this situation as a manager, as a player, as a coach, you don’t know what to expect and you’ve got to try and rise to it. I need to do that and try to lead it to the players. It’s not easy but that’s my job and that’s the players job to stay self-motivated.
Where we are, if anybody thinks between now and the end of the season is going to be a nice easy ride, obviously they’re badly mistaken. If they’re prepared for a bumpy ride, for a fight and a scrap and they’re prepared for that, we’ve got a chance. I’m more than prepared for that, I promise you that.