sport

O'Shea hails Sunderland squad

John O'Shea has hailed Sunderland's achievement in securing Premier League survival after defying all the odds to avoid relegation

Sunderland seemed to be heading for the drop last month, but Gus Poyet's side have embarked on a run of four wins from their last five games to secure survival.

Wednesday's 2-0 win over West Brom at the Stadium of Light ensured Sunderland pulled off one the greatest escapes in Premier League history after finding themselves bottom of the table on April 12.

Black Cats defender O'Shea admits the squad have stood up and been counted over the last month after picking up surprise wins at Chelsea and Manchester United to inspire their survival bid.

"We stuck together as a group and all stood up," said O'Shea.

"We said to ourselves with a few games to go we must make sure we give everything so we can look at ourselves in the mirror.

"Fortunately we have come off the pitch and done that.

"It's been an amazing run of form."

Jack Colback, who scored the opening goal in the win over West Brom, praised Poyet for leading Sunderland's resurgence.

"Everyone wrote us off but I think that helped us," noted Colback

"It's been a long tough season but Gus has been brilliant since he came in."

Poyet admitted after the win over West Brom that he now believes in miracles after conceding last month they needed a miracle to stay up.

"I don't know if you're ever going to see something similar.

"We're the second team in the history of the Premier League to be bottom on Christmas Day and still stay up.

"Being seven points adrift with six games to go, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United to face away from home, to be here - with still one game to play - I cannot believe it yet.

"Absolute credit to the players, they've been outstanding."