O’Neill criticises Sunderland squad
Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill has admitted that his team are still a work in progress as they face a battle to avoid relegation this season.
O’Neill has set a target of 40 points which he believes will allow his side to avoid the drop, and they currently sit 10 points away from that benchmark.
And the Northern Irish boss admitted that he knew his side would face a tough battle in the league this season back in August.
O’Neill told The Sun: “Over the course of the season we might lack a lot of things — we lack real true ability in the team.
“We need an improvement in the ability in the squad. I think that’s obvious.
“We’re in this position because we’ve not been brilliant.
“It’s been a tough season but I knew that back in August.”
Sunderland are just six points away from the drop zone after losing four of their last five games.
The north-east club spent £30million on players such as Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher in a bid to improve the squad last summer.
But as they remain far from safe as the season enters its final stages, the battle to avoid relegation looks set to be more competitive and exciting than the battle for places at the top of the Premier League.