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After-Match Thoughts: Sunderland need 4 points from the next 2 games or we’re as good as down

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Today’s result wasn’t the end of the world but we’re four points adrift of safety with just eleven games left to play. If we don’t take at least a win and a draw from our next two games it’ll be difficult to stay optimistic about our chances of survival.

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Having reflected upon today’s performance down at Millwall I actually think that I feel more sad than I do angry, or disappointed.

Not because we lost our well-earned lead, or that we conceded a sloppy goal, but because I genuinely think that in the last few weeks the players have gave it their best effort - yet still haven’t been able to take all three points from a game.

This kind of form would have been perfectly fine if we were in October or November, but we aren’t - and that’s what worries me most.

We’ve been dying for a win for over a month now and even when trying our best, it doesn’t appear that our best is good enough.

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Winning today would have meant the world to us fans, the players and the manager and would have had us looking ahead to the other two games this week as a fantastic opportunity to get ourselves out of the sh*t.

With most of the teams around us unable to play today due to postponements, the ball was in our court and three points would have placed huge pressure on our fellow strugglers to keep up the pace - and whilst it’s not as though we lost, a draw does very little to help us.

Barnsley, who sit in 21st place, are on 32 points. They - along with Burton, Birmingham and Hull, and of course ourselves - face sides in midweek that are chasing promotion.

We simply have to capitalise. We have to focus absolutely everything on winning this game to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to eventually get out of the bottom three.

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We keep saying that we need to win, but when is it going to come? Tuesday? Villa are a very good side, perhaps - other than Wolves - the best we’ll come up against this season.

We need to be at our absolute best, giving it to them from the off, attacking with intent. Evidence would suggest that we aren’t particularly capable in that regard, and any late surge of form must come soon.

We have two games this week - the aforementioned face-off with Steve Bruce’s promotion-chasers in midweek, and then a game away at mid-table QPR next Saturday.

This is it - it’s make or break.

We need at least four points from those two games to stand a chance of keeping up with those around us. Anything less and we may as well finally accept that we’ll be playing third tier football next season.