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O'Neill annoyed by Sunderland 'gloom'

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has said he feels the "doom and gloom" surrounding the club is unjustified.

• Spotlight: Uncreative Sunderland

The Black Cats were booed off after defeat at home to Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, but O'Neill said it was where Sunderland are in May, rather than where they are now, that was important.

"We've drawn a lot of matches and it's real doom and gloom - but sorry, I'm not going with that," the Black Cats boss said.

"We're capable of winning some matches. It's a season myself and the team should be judged on, not a group of games. You can take a statistic from whatever group of games and put whatever spin you want on it.

"We have to go on and try and win a game. We have some very fine players who are not playing particularly well at the moment, but that will change over time.

"If it means that one will have to sit out a game for a time then so be it - but, in time, we will get back on track."

O'Neill said he was frustrated that "we have players at this minute who are not playing to their potential and it is up to me to rectify that. It's my job. We have to stick at it".

He said he hoped the arrivals of Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher would have seen Sunderland creating more, but he believes how his players respond to the current poor run will define them as individuals.

"This season I wanted us to create more chances, and the consequences of that would be to become a better attacking unit and a side that you'd want to watch," he said.

"We're playing in front of teams rather than being more penetrative. At this minute, it's a real frustration."

Elsewhere, Sunderland have finally received confirmation of a rescheduled date for their Premier League fixture against Reading.

The game, meant to have been played in August, was postponed due to a heavy downpour on Wearside. The game will now go ahead on Tuesday December 11.

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