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The Spaniard is optimistic that the Black Cats will start climbing the table but admits that the club's attacking players need to start scoring if that is to happen

Carlos Cuellar has called on Sunderland's creative players to spark a surge up the Premier League table after a below-par start to the season.

Martin O'Neill's men have struggled for goals in their opening seven games, scoring just six times, and required an own-goal from Demba Ba to save them from an embarassing defeat in Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby draw with local rivals Newcastle.

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The Black Cats start to the campaign has certainly been a mixed bag with five draws sandwiched between a win and loss, but Cuellar, a free transfer signing from Aston Villa, is refusing to dwell on the negatives.

"We are doing very well," he said. "People will say we have only won one game in the league, but we have only lost one game – that was against Manchester City, the champions

"The team is stronger, and I just feel the key for us is to create more chances, score more goals.

"The look and the confidence of the team is fantastic, and we are all confident we will be higher up the table.

"I don’t think if we had lost Sunday’s game, we would have been down for the rest of the season. Everybody knew it was one of the most important games for us, but the season is long.

"The main thing is to finish as high as possible and to win all the games.

"It is good we got the point though because the atmosphere is still high. We still believe now, that’s the main thing."

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