O'Neill wary of relegation threat after Sunderland fall to defeat at QPR

The Black Cats' boss spoke of his side's tough run-in as he stressed the need to take points from vital games in the aftermath of their 3-1 loss at Loftus Road on Saturday
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has admitted that his side need to get some "points on the board" as they sit just six points clear of the drop after a 3-1 loss against relegation rivals QPR.

The Black Cats were overcome by the Rs, despite taking an early lead through Steven Fletcher, as goals from Loic Remy, Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas consigned them to defeat.

With consecutive home fixtures against Norwich City and Manchester United to come, O'Neill was eager to emphasise the magnitude of the games ahead.

"It's a tough old set of fixtures for us between now and the end of the season, we need to get some points on the board," he told reporters.

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"The players in the dressing room are disappointed but we're looking to respond as we have done before. It's a big game next week."

The 61-year-old also admitted that the clash at Loftus Road was always going to be a difficult one, although he felt that his side coped well, citing Townsend's stunning strike as a turning point in the tie.

"It was always going to be a difficult game for us," he continued.

"QPR were buoyed by their win over Southampton last week and we had to counteract that and deal with the swell of euphoria from the crowd, which I thought we did well.

"We put ourselves in front and it's a wonder goal from them to take the game to 2-1."