Cole draws on Ferguson days to rally Sunderland

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The Independent Football

Andy Cole has urged his Sunderland team-mates to adopt the Manchester United approach to adversity as they attempt to bounce back from their weekend thrashing.

The Black Cats were trounced 7-1 at Everton on Saturday with Cole, 36, making his debut as a substitute following his recovery from a calf problem. Roy Keane's side host bottom side Derby County on Saturday needing to end a run of eight games without a win to climb out of the relegation zone.

Hammerings were rare during Cole's seven years at Old Trafford, but when things were tough manager Sir Alex Ferguson used setbacks as fresh motivation.

Cole said: "I remember one year when I was at Manchester United, we went to Southampton and it was 6-3. It was horrible, a horrible, horrible feeling. The manager came in and had his say and it is not a nice feeling. But come the following Saturday and the weeks after that, it brought the players a lot closer together and we got results."

Everton were already leading 4-1 when Cole arrived as a 66th-minute replacement for Michael Chopra, and were not prepared to let it end there. He said: "It was a horrible, horrible debut in terms of the result. Obviously, it was nice to actually make my debut, but the result made it a very sore weekend."

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