Survival Will Huge
Sunderland captain Dean Whitehead believes staying up this season will be a bigger achievement than the two League wins he has witnessed in his time at the club.
Deano hopes his team can push on up the league now that Reid, Richardson and Edwards have recovered from injuries.
Whitehead told The Sunderland Echo "It was a great achievement winning the title last season, especially after the start we had, but staying in the Premier League would beat that,"
"Things have been up a down since I came here. I'm proud of the two promotions and winning the Championship twice."
"They were the high points so far, but I want to be a Premier League player for a few years and this club needs to be a Premier League club, so staying up and giving ourselves something to build on would be the biggest achievement so far."
"Every club has injuries but they do seem to have hit us quite hard this season,"
"Even when I got myself fit, it took me a while to get into my stride again because you can't just walk back into the Premier League and expect to turn it on straight away."
"I know I'm feeling a lot better with a few games under my belt now and other lads like Andy Reid, Kieran Richardson and Carlos Edwards will feel the same after the injuries they had."
"When you've just been promoted, you can't really afford too many injuries because the clubs that come up often haven't got the big squads that more established clubs have."
"To go into the last five games of the season thinking more about the clubs above us that below is a nice position to be in."
"It would be nice to sneak into the top half, but eight points is probably too big a gap now. My target would be to finish on top of the bottom half of the league."
"That would be a decent finish given the injuries we've had and the tough run we had in the middle of the season."
Vital Sunderland Says
Hopefully Whitehead can help inspire another result this weekend against Man City.
With Richardson, Edwards and Reid all getting fitter we are getting close to our strongest available team.
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