Hooiveld: No slacking for Saints

BY foxsports • April 14, 2013

Paolo Di Canio felt his Sunderland players performed like 'warriors' as they claimed a 3-0 derby victory at Newcastle United.

Spectacular strikes from Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson and David Vaughan saw the Black Cats to three much-needed points at St James' Park.

Victory on Tyneside was Di Canio's first as Sunderland boss, in his first derby, and he admits he could not have asked for any more from his squad.

He told Sky Sports: "They were warriors. You can't be more proud than this. They did everything, they gave everything, they left all of their energy on the field.

"It was a fair result at 3-0, so I am very happy for them because they really suffered during the game. It was hard because we knew that we had a team in front of us with fantastic ability and quality.

"They worked through the strategy in a perfect way and it was a good result. It was an important result and they deserved it, so I am happy.

"It means that what I thought when I signed, there is quality in this team. There is absolute quality and it is important that we use it in the right way and play together as a team."

Step

Sunderland now sit three points clear of the drop zone, but Di Canio concedes that there is still a lot of hard work to be done if they are to preserve their Premier League status.

He added: "We have to celebrate, but after tonight look to recover our energy.

"We scored three goals, but before we scored the first goal we gave them a chance to score. We have to avoid that. That has to be the philosophy for now until the end of the season and for the future.

"This is only one result. In terms of the result for this area, it is an incredible step. But in terms of the table, it is only a small step to try and get this club out of the relegation zone. We have to be intelligent because the main job is not done."

The Dutchman landed awkwardly after punching away an Adam Johnson free-kick and was immediately replaced by Rob Elliot in the second half of the Magpies' humiliating defeat to their bitter rivals.

And Newcastle's afternoon took another turn for the worse when Pardew revealed he would be deprived of Krul's services for the Premier League run-in.

Although they lie 13th in the table, Newcastle are still looking over their shoulders as they are just five points clear of the drop zone with five games of the season remaining.

They were knocked out of the Europa League by Benfica earlier this week and Pardew must rally his troops without his number one goalkeeper.

It is not the first time Krul, who recently returned to action after missing a month due to an ankle injury, has had problems with his shoulder.

The 25-year-old suffered a similar injury when he was on loan at Falkirk in January 2008.

In Saturday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Aston Villa, the enigmatic striker hit the post in a typical showing of both brilliance and anonymity.

"It's the same all the time with him," said Cottagers boss Jol. "If you get a win or a draw, then everyone says he's superb.

"If you don't, they say he's strolling around.

"I'm very happy he's here, most of the time he makes the difference. But look at our other players too. I think collectively we've done ever so well since the turn of the year."

Jol backed Villa to beat the drop.

"If you don't win games and others do, you'll go down," he said. "But this is a big club and they can stay up."

On Saturday, Liverpool amassed 15 shots on target at the Madejski Stadium yet were unable of finding a way past a stunning performance from goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who made a succession of world-class saves.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers said after the 0-0 draw: "You always try to find solutions to break down the opposition. We broke down Reading, we just came up against a keeper that was inspired."

Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge were repeatedly denied by the remarkable McCarthy, who was playing his first match since November 4 after recovering from shoulder surgery.

Reading were outclassed for most of the match and their failure to win has nudged them closer to relegation, but manager Adkins refuses to be despondent.

"We won't wait for relegation. We'll just keep working on the training ground and take each game as it comes," Adkins said.

"The atmosphere in the stadium was really good, the supporters got behind the players and the team gave the fans something to cheer so there's a lot of positivity around the place."

The 1-1 draw at home to West Ham on Saturday left Saints in a safe midtable position in the Premier League, with seven points separating them and the drop zone.

Both promoted clubs look set to ply their football in the top flight again next season - although Hooiveld will not be resting on his laurels.

"We are not going to relax," he said. "We just came up and we want to get the most amount of points possible.

"I think 53 is the most possible so if we get that, then we can relax.

"Things are looking good. There is still five games left and we want to end this season in style.

"It is nice to play those games and against West Ham it was exactly what we expected - a lot of fights, a lot of scraps.

"It was high tempo and it was a typical West Ham game. I kind of like the physical battle.

"I think we did very well, played our game, although the pitch and the weather did not really help.

"We played quite well at some points and I think we got the respect because in the end they were happy with the point."


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