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O´Neill defiant amid growing pressure

SoccerNews in English Premier League 10 Dec 2012

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Under-fire Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill says he has the ability to turn things around at the Stadium of Light.

O’Neill was a popular appointment when he joined the club last term, leading his side to a comfortable 13th-placed finish.

But after losing to Chelsea on Saturday, Sunderland find themselves in the Premier League’s relegation zone.

But the former Aston Villa boss insists that he is the ‘best man for the job’ and feels he can steer the club back to winning ways.

“So what do you do then? So you go and put someone else in charge, he gets a group of 12, 13 games and can’t win any matches? It’s the same thing,” he told reporters.

“I don’t want to sound wildly boastful, but not only am I the best man for the job, I am actually the only man for the job.

“We will steer it through, we will get calmer waters ahead – it might take us a few months to do that – and then we will see. If we are continuing for the next couple of years to be in this position, then I will certainly question it then.

“Progress eventually, no matter what you think about it, is determined by results on the pitch, and we are in a similar position, so you could say whether we have made that sort of progress or not.

“It’s interesting because it’s really the same squad that we have had – we still have, I think, about 19 players from last season.

“The spirit is still there, and that was the thing I noticed most, really, that it hadn’t been broken, and that spirit should stand us in really decent stead.

“But spirit alone is eventually not enough. Of course you need to add and we need to get stronger if we can.”

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