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Sunderland boss not surprised with difficult season

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill insists the Black Cats' start to the season has come as no surprise to him after they struggled towards the end of the last campaign. The Black Cats head into Saturday's home clash with Chelsea having won only two of their last 22 league games and stuck one point above the relegation zone.

He said: "I've been in management 20 years. I've had tougher times at other clubs and we've come through them. When I went to Leicester City, the first 10 or 11 games I couldn't win a match to save my life. We turned that round and were pretty successful.

"The first year at Aston Villa was exceptionally tough indeed. We'll pull round and, inevitably I hope, we'll get a team that the supporters are really proud of.

"It's been a tough start to the season. It hasn't come as any major surprise to me. The team is essentially the same as last season so it's a tough struggle, but we'll get there."

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Dave Williams

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