Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Phillips: Sunderland face tough test at Palace

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Nov 2015

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Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips believes the Premier League strugglers should be happy with a point as they prepare to face Crystal Palace on Monday.

Sunderland are second-bottom in the Premier League, with just one win to their name, but could move up a place with victory over Palace – another one of Phillips’ former teams. 

But Phillips knows it is going to be a tough encounter and one they should be happy to share the spoils.

“Having played down at Selhurst Park for a season I know first-hand it’s a tough place to go, and with the form they’re in – the pace, power, strength and directness that they’ve got – it’s going to be a really tough night for Sunderland,” Phillips wrote for the Newcastle Chronicle.

“They’re going to have to stay solid and soak up a lot of pressure, and maybe catch Palace on the counter-attack.

“They-re a counter-attacking team, they’ve got pace and width, they’ve got Yohan Cabaye who’s the orchestrator in the middle of the park, they’re quite solid and it’s a tight place so I’d take a point all day long.

“100 per cent, I’d take a point.”

The 42-year-old – who is now assistant coach at Championship outfit Derby County – also stated the matches leading up to the January transfer window are extremely important for the club’s survival push.

“Sam will have sat down and looked at the fixtures, and maybe given himself a little target – if we can get to January on this and realistically still be in touching distance with teams in and around us then perhaps we can dip into the transfer market and strengthen the squad,” he said.

“So a point away at Palace and then Stoke at home, which is obviously a very winnable game because they haven’t had the best of starts to the season, if we can get a point on Monday and three the following week then all of a sudden things are starting to pick up before the tough fixtures.

“So the next six or seven games before the window opens are so important for Sunderland.”

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