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O'Shea determined not to face another relegation battle with Sunderland

Sunderland skipper John O'Shea is determined not to find himself involved in a relegation battle next season.

The 33-year-old central defender led the Black Cats to safety as they staged an unlikely fightback to drag themselves out of deep trouble and preserve their place in the Premier League at the end of the last campaign.

You don't get any medals from climbing away from the foot of the table, but I was asked how the feeling we have at the moment compares with collecting a winners' medal.

Undoubtedly the elation we are all experiencing has got to be up there.

The achievement is all the more satisfying because of the teams we have had to face in recent weeks and the pressure we were under when we were written off.

We have stood up to it and, after last season, we are already thinking about making sure that next year, we start off much better so we don't find ourselves in the situation we have just come through.

– Sunderland captain John O'Shea.



Cattermole amazed by Sunderland's great escape

Lee Cattermole is not quite sure how Sunderland managed to dig themselves out of relegation trouble.

I think there will be a day in the summer when we wake up and think, 'That was some achievement'.

We have stuck together and come through it. We don't know how, but the results have been absolutely incredible. There isn't another word.

We have pulled it off and we have got to be looking at pushing the other end of the table next year. That's what we have got to aim to do.

It was a bit too close for anyone's liking. We have got to learn lessons from that and improve, because when you see nights like (Wednesday) night and the Cardiff game with the place full, it means a lot.

– Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole

Keeping Sunderland up is my biggest achievement - Poyet

Gus Poyet has insisted keeping Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League is the biggest achievement of his career.

The 46-year-old Uruguayan was handed the task of sparing the Black Cats from the drop in October, at which point they had collected just a solitary point from their opening seven games.

But on Wednesday evening, they ensured they will play in the top flight once again next season with a 2-0 victory over West Brom which took them to 38 points after a remarkable fourth successive win.

It's the biggest achievement of my life, for sure. Today is one of the happiest days of my life as well.

I always think about other people. I think about today the fans from this city, how important it is for them to have a team in the Premier League - we have got it, at least for another year - how important for the staff, how important for everybody really, how important for the chairman to be able to plan for the future knowing that we are going to be in the Premier League.

I am delighted for the players. It's been difficult, I can tell you, it's been very, very difficult.

– Sunderland boss Gus Poyet.
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