sport

Buckley upbeat on season ahead

Sunderland winger Will Buckley is confident Gus Poyet's team will consolidate their Premier League position.

The Black Cats spent much of last season embroiled in a relegation battle, but managed to avoid the drop in the final weeks of the campaign.

Sunderland started the league season with a draw away to West Brom and they collected another point against Manchester United at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

While Sunderland have collected two points from as many games, they played eight matches last season before reaching that tally.

Buckley made an impressive home debut in the 1-1 draw with United, and the 24-year-old reckons the work ethic at Sunderland is already paying off.

"That's what the manager says: be hard to beat, and we were. That showed," Buckley said.

"It was a really difficult game last week and I think people under-estimated West Brom and what they can do at home.

"We were criticised a little bit, but we showed against Manchester United that we are a team that is going to be pushing up that league."

Although Buckley feels Sunderland may have taken more from Sunday's match, he insists no one at the club is too despondent at the result.

Buckley said: "You probably would have taken it before the game. We came under pressure in the last 15 minutes and we were hanging on a little bit, but it was a good performance, especially in the first half and we came away happy with that.

"We knew they had to come here and win, really, so we did well and to come away with a point is a good result."