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Larsson convinced that Sunderland can avoid relegation
SEB LARSSON is convinced that Sunderland can avoid relegation despite his side crashing to defeat at Hull City on Saturday.
A disastrous performance, where Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena were dismissed in first-half stoppage-time, after Carlos Cuellar scored an own goal and after Keiren Westwood was substituted following a clash with Paul McShane, ended positively as Sunderland were much improved in the second half.
But Larsson felt that Cattermole’s dismissal was called incorrectly by Andre Marriner.
“We were obviously disappointed with how the first half ended,” said Larsson, who played the full 90 minutes for Sunderland at the KC Stadium.
“We were disappointed before the two red cards but at the same time we were still well in the game. We thought we could improve a lot in the second half even when down to nine men.
“The ref has given the two red cards – for the first one I think it's clear to see that he made a mistake. I haven't seen the Dossena challenge again but from what I've heard it was the right decision.
“Listen, we're not kidding ourselves, we know where we are in the league. If you're asking me if we'll get out of it, no doubt we are.”
Hull’s winner was entirely Sunderland’s own fault. John O’Shea headed out of play needlessly, and Cuellar got on the end of Liam Rosenior’s cross to head past Westwood. It is those goals, Larsson believes, which are costing the Black Cats time and time again.
“We defended well in the second half but we need to start the game better than we did,” said Larsson. “Obviously a very shitty goal we conceded again. They were the better team early on but were not causing us any trouble.
“We've had the tendency to concede silly goals and that's happened again, this time though, the referee has also made what I think is a mistake.”
Larsson, who started off on the wing but moved inside for the second half, does not feel that Saturday’s performance cancelled out the positive gained from last weekend’s derby win over Newcastle United.
“That positivity from last week, it isn't all going to go away with this game,” said the Swede. “We're massively disappointed with this result and we should be, the performance in the first half and the result was not good enough.
“We know the quality we have in the squad, it's about getting it out more often. I've got no doubt we'll get out of this situation. It's a matter of when, we need to make that sooner rather than later.”
Sunderland brought 2,400 fans with them to Humberside, and outsung the home crowd throughout the second half.
Larsson apologised for the side’s first-half efforts, adding: “They were fantastic, backed us all the way, singing all the way through. All we can do is apologise for not picking up the points for them, and thank them for their support. It means a lot and we're sure we'll get out of this situation.”
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