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Carlos EdwardsCarlos Edwards has described Sunderland's remaining Premier League games as "six cup finals".
Sunderland start their run-in against fellow strugglers Hull City at the Stadium of Light next Saturday before travelling to bottom club West Brom.

Ricky Sbragia's men also face Everton, Bolton, Portsmouth and Chelsea as they look to stay up.

The Black Cats lie two points above the relegation zone after the weekend's fixtures.

And though Sunderland are fourth from bottom, Edwards was upbeat about their survival prospects after a good performance against Manchester United.

"We have the determination to get out of this," said the Trinidadian. "There were a lot of positives from the United game and hopefully we will take them into the next six games.

"We realise we're in a dogfight and we're up for it. We've got to make sure we show the same desire against Hull next week.

"People say the Hull game is our cup final but we have six cup finals, they are all as big as each other. We will roll our sleeves up and battle."

Edwards praised the fans after the 2-1 defeat to United on Saturday. "They could see the effort we put in and they backed us all the way," said the winger.

"We know that if we give everything, the crowd will give everything in return."
Edwards wants to assist Jones again.
By Scott Wilson.


With Kenwyne Jones having scored his first goal in nine weeks on Saturday, Carlos Edwards last night promised to set up more chances for the Sunderland striker in the final six matches of the season.

Jones ended a barren spell that stretched to February 7 when he bundled Teemu Tainio’s cross past Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster at the weekend.

The Trinidad & Tobago international produced a number of below-par performances as Sunderland tumbled down the Premier League table last month, but is likely to be crucial to the club’s hopes of avoiding the drop in the next six weeks.

He will need the support of the club’s midfielders, though, and Edwards admits he must shoulder much of the responsibility for ensuring that his international team-mate is presented with some goalscoring opportunities in the games that remain.

“Kenwyne went through a tough spell, and I hope he can pick up where he left off against Manchester United,”

said the winger. “Hopefully, he can continue to get on to the scoresheet from now until the end of the season.

“We need to assist him, and he’s hoping for the guys like myself to produce the crosses for him to get on the end of.

That’s his strength, in the air, and hopefully I can play my part along with the rest of the guys.”

Edwards made his fourth Premier League start of the season against Manchester United, and having returned from a loan spell at Wolves in November, the 30-year-old has emerged as a key part of Ricky Sbragia’s plans.

He offers the kind of natural width that has not been in evidence at the Stadium of Light for much of the campaign, and having impressed against the Premier League leaders, is likely to be involved again when Hull travel to Wearside this weekend.

He is determined to do everything he can to support Jones and Djibril Cisse, who has been linked with a summer move to Greek side Panathinaikos, but is also targeting a goal of his own in the final six games.

Edwards has never scored a Premier League goal, with his last senior strike coming in a Championship victory over Burnley in April 2007.

“We can’t put too much of a strain on Kenwyne or Djibril,”

he said. “Myself and the rest of the guys need to start getting goals as well.

“Everyone wants to get a goal, everyone. I want to get on the scoresheet so badly it’s unreal.

“Hopefully my first Premier League goal will come sooner rather than later. It almost came at the weekend (when he hit the post), but luck was not with us.

“Hopefully it will come, the rest of the guys can chip in and we can all smile come the end of the season.”

Sunderland will not be smiling if they drop into the Championship, and Sbragia called a team meeting last week in which a few home truths were discussed following the club’s slide down the table.

Saturday’s defeat has left the Black Cats just two points above the drop zone, but Edwards insists that morale remains high ahead of a Hull game that has assumed huge importance given last weekend’s results.

“What was said in the dressing room stays in the dressing room,” he said. “But it was just a bonding to kick start us where we have been falling short. It was an opportunity for everyone to say their thing.

“We’re all in this together.

When one man’s down, everyone’s down. We stick together as a group. We’d fallen short, but we had to pick our heads up. We did that, and the mood at the moment is good. Everyone’s buzzing.”