Cuellar fires United warning
Carlos Cuellar has warned Manchester United they will get a shock if they underestimate Sunderland when the two meet in this weekend's Saturday Night Football encounter at the Stadium of Light.
Cuellar was recalled to the Black Cats starting XI by caretaker manager Kevin Ball for last Sunday's 3-1 defeat against Liverpool, which left them bottom of the table with just one point from six matches.
However, despite the loss, the 32-year-old defender believes his side's performance in that game and during training under Ball - who took charge following the sacking of Paolo Di Canio - means they will be no push-over for David Moyes' stuttering champions.
"They (United) have seen our performance against Liverpool and they know if they come thinking it will be easy they will get a surprise," said Cuellar. "We are ready to win. We are working hard to beat them on Saturday."
Cuellar admitted that the atmosphere at the club had improved following the departure of Di Canio and that Ball has the backing of the squad.
"The players keep working hard. We are still worried because we are at the bottom of the table but the main thing is the confidence, which is higher now."
Cuellar has been impressed by the impact Ball has had on the training pitch.
"We are enjoying it," said Cuellar. "It is an intense level. But that work is orientated towards how we want to play.
"You can see in the Liverpool game we played so well and kept the ball for a long time and moved the ball left side or right side to find the space to try and get the ball inside the box. And when we lost the ball we pressed to recover it and that is what we were doing in training.
"With Kevin we are allowed to try things. If you make a mistake or miss the ball, nothing wrong happens, you keep going.
"The confidence the players have with the manager is high. After seeing the performance against Liverpool we have the confidence to think that if we keep that level and keep improving and cutting out mistakes that cost us goals we are going to be good."
Cuellar also suggested the club should extend Ball's tenure as manager until at least the end of the season.
"The club have to make the choice," added the Spaniard. "All I can say is that everyone in the squad and the club are supporting him and believing him from the first day he came up to the first team.
"You can see it straight away in the way he works and tries to make us better. I would like to see him stay until the last game of the season."
You can watch Sunderland v Manchester United on Sky Sports 1 HD from 1700 GMT.