Cana sounds Black Cats rallying call
Sunderland captain Lorik Cana believes his side can "do well
against any team in this league" despite the Wearsiders' current
The Black Cats are without a league win in 13 outings following Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Arsenal, and although manager Steve Bruce saw enough at the Emirates Stadium to suggest the corner is close to being turned, that cannot happen quickly enough.
They remain just three points clear of the drop zone heading into Sunday's encounter with Fulham at the Stadium of Light, and know their plight could have worsened by the time they kick off.
However, with key midfielder Lee Cattermole due to return from suspension this weekend and the club's injury woes finally starting to ease, Cana is expecting a return to the form which at one point marked Sunderland out as potential European contenders.
He said: "The players that came in against Arsenal did well, but we have Catts back for the next game and that is so important.
"We need Andy Reid back as soon as possible too because they are both important players for us.
"I really believe that when we have our strongest XI, we can do well against any team in this league.
"Having Catts beside me helps me to focus on my game. He does not need me to look out for him. He knows his job, we complement one another so well.
"Having me and Catts on the pitch for the rest of the season is very important."
It is three months since Bruce's men last won in the league, and they have collected just six points from the last 39 on offer.
But they now face a run of five games, four of which are at home against Fulham, Bolton, Manchester City and Birmingham with their trip to Aston Villa dependent upon the outcome of the Midlanders' FA Cup fifth-round replay against Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening, which could have a significant say in how the remainder of the campaign pans out.
Cana told the Journal: "The manager has told us that this is the time for us to show great spirit. I agree with him and think that we showed that against Arsenal.
"If we take that mentality into these next four or five home games, then I am confident we will be okay.
"I am a fighter, I never give up, but I think we have a team who have great fighting spirit.
"I try to lead my team-mates by showing a strong mentality and hopefully giving them the belief to get through this period."