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Key Sunderland figure sends assertive promotion message that will interest Hull City and Peterborough United

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Sunderland’s automatic promotion hopes are ‘still in their hands’, according to Luke O’Nien.

The Black Cats were dealt a huge blow over the weekend as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Charlton Athletic – the same day as promotion rivals Hull City and Peterborough United picked up three points.

As a result the Wearsiders are five points behind the Posh with one game in hand, and eight points behind the Tigers with two games in hand.

In essence that means that Lee Johnson’s side are relying on the sides above them to drop points if they’re to have any chance of breaking into the top two, but while some would suggest that the weekend may have been a huge knock for the club, defender O’Nien is looking on the bright side.

Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, O’Nien said: “Ask any player in the changing room, any member of staff – the top two, the top spot, is still well up for grabs.

“It’s easy to get down on one defeat but there’s so much to go and in our eyes, it’s still in our hands because we’ve still got to play Hull.

“We’ve just got to go and win.

“There’ll be plenty of chopping and changing before the end of the season, I can assure you of that.”

He added: “Nobody likes to lose games, but it’s the time to reflect and learn and become better players and people – and that’s what we’re going to do now,” O’Nien explained.

“There’s a few people down but at the same time we’ve been on a hell of a run of form.

“Now we’ve just got to go on another one and there’s no better time than the Tuesday game coming up.

“You’ve got a changing room full of winners in there. Nobody likes to lose, whether it’s five-a-side in training, and that’s just the standards we’ve set.

“People are disappointed, but we’ve just got to go and put things right.”

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The verdict

You have to admire Luke O’Nien’s optimism, but there’s no doubt that Saturday was a big moment in the season.

While Sunderland are very much still in with a chance of securing automatic promotion it certainly seems that Hull City and Peterborough United are in control – particularly with how well they’re playing.

That said there’s plenty of games left and I’m sure we’ll see a few more twists and turns before the end of the campaign.


North East-based EFL writer and aspiring author

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Key Sunderland figure sends assertive promotion message that will interest Hull City and Peterborough United

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