Sunderland’s on-loan striker Marc McNulty has called on those at the club to stick together following their recent poor run of form.
The Black Cats have won just two of their 11 games in all competitions since the appointment of Phil Parkinson as manager, something which has already put the 51-year-old under pressure at the Stadium of Light.
But while McNulty – who hasn’t featured for the club since early November – is well aware that recent results have not lived up to expectations, he does believe that things could quite easily turn back in his side’s favour, telling the Sunderland Echo: “Obviously, results haven’t been good enough for us. “You will always go through rough patches in a season, but you must stay together.
“That’s everyone from the players, the manager and all the staff. It’s so important that everyone pulls in the same direction to come through the hard times.”
Indeed, McNulty believes that if that does happen, then there is still a good chance for Sunderland to secure promotion back to the Championship this season, as he continued: “That what it takes to get promoted. You need to be on it together and as the season wears on that needs to grow.
“Eventually it gets to a point where it’s an unstoppable force. Suddenly you have a feeling and a belief where you just continue to churn out wins week after week.
“We have the squad to do that, but it’s up to us to get the wins now to put us in a position to do that.”
Sunderland are still just three points adrift of the play-offs having played 17 league games this season, and discussing the approach his side must take to overhaul that deficit, McNulty concluded: “We need to look at ourselves, think about what has gone wrong individually and then collectively we need to put it right.
“If you can do that and then go and win the next two or three league games, suddenly a completely different picture is painted.
“You are in a better place in the league and teams are looking up at you rather than the other way around. We aren’t a million miles away and we know a result or two can instantly change that.”
Sunderland are next in action on Saturday afternoon, when they travel to Priestfield to face Gillingham, a game which could see McNulty return to the side following that recent spell out of the lineup.
I do see where McNulty is coming from here.
The deficit Sunderland face is something they have more than enough time to overcome, with the number of games they have left in the season.
Indeed, when you consider the fact that the club reached the League One play-off final last season, only missing out due to the latest of late goals, they certainly seem to have the quality required to secure such success.
Even so, the longer this poor run of form goes on, the greater the pressure is going to be on those around the club, and that gap to the top six will only continue to grow, meaning Sunderland need to start picking up points sooner rather than later.