Larsson not contemplating Sunderland relegation battle

The 27-year-old insists there are "too many good players" at the club for the Mackems to be at risk of going down but admitted the squad need a confidence boost
Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson does not believe the club will become embroiled in a relegation battle this season, despite their poor start to the campaign.

Martin O'Neill's side have failed to find the back of the net in four of their last five games and currently sit 16th in the Premier League, just four points outside of the drop zone.

However, the Sweden international is confident that the Black Cats possess enough quality to get through a difficult period.

"Am I thinking about any relegation battle or anything like that? No, not at all," Larsson told reporters.

"There’s only a quarter of the season gone so there’s loads left.

"There’s too many good players here for that. We’ve just got to focus on turning things around and head up that league.

"It’s there for everyone to see that confidence is not sky high in front of goal and it won’t be after not scoring that many.

"What are you going to do about it? You just keep working hard and wait to get a couple of goals and a couple of wins.

"Then things will turn around very quickly. You can lose confidence very quickly, but you can also pick it up very quickly."

The 27-year-old attacker went on to pinpoint a lack of confidence as the reason for his side's ongoing poor form.

He added: "You could see, especially against Villa, once we got into situations where it’s time to create stuff, the confidence is not there.

"We get a bit tentative and a bit nervous and we end up not creating anything at all.

"That’s what the manager has been speaking to us about, to try to play with more freedom and not worry so much.

"That’s where we need to get to. We’ve definitely got the players to create things and score a lot more goals, but we’re not doing it at the moment.

"It’s one thing talking about it, but we’ve got to show it on the pitch.

"Obviously, in the last week with two very disappointing defeats, that’s on everyone’s mind at the moment.

"We’re well aware that we haven’t lived up to expectations yet, but hopefully we can turn that around very soon."