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O'Shea: 'We must focus on Anfield test'


John O'Shea

John O'Shea

John O'Shea

JOHN O'Shea has told his Sunderland team-mates to put their midweek defeat to champions Manchester City to one side and gear up for the next challenge, away to Liverpool tomorrow.

A four-game unbeaten run for Sunderland came to an end on Wednesday night when they threw away a 1-0 lead at home to Chelsea and finished up on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline, the Black Cats conceding four goals having kept a clean sheet in their previous two Premier League games.

Despite their overall troubles, Liverpool have been scoring of late and Sunderland captain O'Shea is expecting another stiff test for a defence which saw rookie Sebastian Coates pressed into action against City in midweek.

"Psychologically it's a test as well and one we have to come through. But we all fought last season to play games like Liverpool at Anfield, so we have to look forward to it," says O'Shea.

"I don't want to harp back to last season, but we did it at tough places then. Physically we have to be able to cope with it. You're a professional player. Liverpool have had a couple of dogged wins, but hopefully we can put them under pressure and take advantage."

Defender Coates, on loan to Sunderland from Liverpool, was criticised for his display in the mauling by City in midweek but O'Shea has absolved the Uruguayan of blame.

"We needed to be in the position better to help Seb. I needed to be across more, Lee Cattermole could have done too. There's enough of us to not pick out individuals.

"We didn't have enough of our cover and shape that we had on Saturday against Chelsea and that led to their goals. They took them well and created them well, but we were able to stop them on Saturday. But they are the champions, they're a decent team and we have to move on," added O'Shea.