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Sunderland v Southend United – Stadium of Light – Sky Bet League One – Saturday 3pm
Sunderland v Southend United – Preview:
Sol Campbell spoke positively ahead of Southend United’s potentially daunting Sky Bet League One trip to Sunderland.
Blues head to the Stadium of Light with just a single league success to their name from fifteen outings and are already eight points adrift of the safety zone. Nevertheless, the former Spurs and Arsenal defender – having spent a full week with his new charges – believes he has seen signs that a change of fortune might not be too far away for the beleaguered Roots Hall outfit.
“For us, it’s a big game,” Campbell explained.
“It’s going to be a big crowd over there and a big pitch. They’ve got fantastic history Sunderland so we’ve got to be at it, compact and ready to go.
“Getting the lads for a whole week has been great for me, we’ve had a nice little block of training which is very important for us to get our message across so it’s very important for us. It’s only been just over a week, but we’ve made some really good strides and that’s key. We’ve done a little bit of fitness work, a bit of technical work, so hopefully, it’ll all start paying off in the games.”
Campbell continued: “I’m confident in the sense that we can put a good shift in and a good performance. The main thing for us is the performance and everybody has to buy in and step up and put a little bit more energy into it, but also a bit more thought as well. I want them to express themselves, but I also want them to be canny when they’re defending and making sure they’re tight as a unit.”
The new Blues chief recognised the gulf in size between the two clubs and called for unity amongst his players as they look to spring a surprise against a Sunderland side who themselves, haven’t lived up to their fans pre-season expectations.
“They’re a big side, they’ve got a huge budget and we’ve got to be at it from minute one. We’re under no illusions that it’s going to be an easy game, but the main thing for us is as long as we get our set up right and we can impose ourselves on the game and we take our chances or give them problems, that’s the main thing for us.
“We’ve got to go out there and enjoy the game, work hard and not be overawed by the stadium. Just play our game, back each other up on the pitch and play some football. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we’ve made some good strides and as long as the guys are focused, we’ll be alright.”
Sunderland v Southend United – Head to head:
Sunderland won: 9
Southend United won: 7
Sunderland v Southend United – Last five meetings (all competitions):
February 27, 1996 – League Division One
Southend United 0-2 Sunderland
August 19, 2006 – Championship
Southend United 3-1 Sunderland
February 17, 2007 – Championship
Sunderland 4-0 Southend United
October 27, 2018 – League One
Sunderland 3-0 Southend United
May 4, 2019 – League One
Southend United 2-1 Sunderland
Jeevesie’s prediction: Sunderland 3-0 Southend United