Brown wants form to continue

Brown clinched a second Premier League victory in three games for

new manager Martin O’Neill with an 89th-minute winner at QPR on

Wednesday evening to move the Black Cats three points clear of the

drop zone. The triumphs over Blackburn and QPR either side of a

narrow defeat at Tottenham have doubled the club’s tally for the

season, and swiftly reached O’Neill’s initial target of

establishing a one-point-per-game ratio with 17 matches played.

They will now seek to build upon that as Everton and then leaders

Manchester City head for the Stadium of Light over the holiday

period. And while that might prove challenging, Brown is confident

they have what it will take. He said: “We have always had it. The

players haven’t changed, we have always had it in the team. “We

managed to get that break on Wednesday night, and hopefully we can

carry on from there and have a good Christmas period. “If you look

at Everton at the moment, you could probably say they are not

playing to their best ability as well, so we can go into the game

confident. “We are at home – that’s all we can do. We got three

points at QPR, which is the main reason we went there. “If we had

scraped three points, I still would have been happy with a 1-0,

5-4. “It doesn’t really matter, we got the three points, and now we

can take it into the next game.” Brown, who arrived on Wearside

with team-mate John O’Shea from Manchester United during the

summer, will perhaps not be aware of the club’s recent record

against Everton. Sunderland have not beaten the Toffees in 14

attempts in all competitions, and the Merseysiders have won 11 of

those encounters, 10 of them in the Barclays Premier League.

Manager Martin O’Neill has been made aware of that statistic and is

treating it as just another challenge. Asked how one team can have

a stranglehold over another for an extended period, he said: “There

can be a very obvious reason – some team can be just miles better

than the other one over a period of time, or there might have been

games here where Sunderland could have got a result and didn’t do.

“Then you start worrying about statistics and when the whole thing

is going to change. “But it is up to us to try to do something

about that. I can’t account for recent history, but that is

something I am hoping won’t be in the players’ minds as we take the

field.” In addition, the Black Cats will attempt to win

back-to-back league games for the first time since they defeated

Blackburn and Aston Villa inside five days in January as they look

to build upon Wednesday night’s 3-2 victory at QPR. O’Neill said:

“We go into the game in really good spirit because of the win on

Wednesday evening and the manner in which we won, letting a

two-goal lead slip and then coming through in the end. “It was

great to win the game. It gives us those extra points that we

desperately need and puts us in fine fettle now. “We haven’t won

back-to-back games for quite some considerable time and it might be

an opportunity for us to do it. “That’s the way you could look at

it, anyway – but the opposition is pretty tough.”