Royle has faith in team despite 'one-off' failure

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Joe Royle aims to give his humiliated Manchester City side the chance to redeem themselves in front of their own fans against Sunderland tonight, when Premiership football returns to Maine Road for the first time in four years.

Joe Royle aims to give his humiliated Manchester City side the chance to redeem themselves in front of their own fans against Sunderland tonight, when Premiership football returns to Maine Road for the first time in four years.

City's long-awaited comeback to the big time has been blighted by the shocking performance in Saturday's opener, when they were beaten 4-0 by Charlton Athletic.

Royle has announced a "same again" line-up to face Sunderland, when the former City manager Peter Reid brings his team - and another former City favourite Niall Quinn - to Maine Road.

Royle, who will include his new £500,000 signing Paul Ritchie in the squad, said: "The team will be unchanged, on the premise that we were so poor at Charlton it gives them the chance to prove it was a one-off.

"We've all had a bad weekend thinking about it, but we have to look to the future. I was concerned at the overall performance but we can't play that badly again.

"Sometimes you can carry two or three who are not at their best, but apart from the displays of Nicky Weaver and Alfie Haaland, there was little to take from the match.

"Facing Sunderland will be a massive occasion for this club after the trials of the past few seasons. With Peter Reid coming back and Niall Quinn, the night has plenty of nice little sub-plots.

"But it's a big game. They've had an ideal start beating Arsenal, one of the title favourites, and we've had a poor start, so we have got to make up for a bit of lost time. Everyone was hurt badly by what happened, and everyone gets the opportunity to put things right."

Royle still has belief in his side and added: "I've been telling everyone since Saturday that this club has made two years' progress. That isn't undone by one bad performance. Dare I say that even the champions have one of those occasionally?

"Sunderland will be a hard one. They came up last season without any real household names, one or two since have made themselves pretty well known, but they are a typically Reidy side. They don't carry passengers. If they are not honest and work for the team they are not in the side very long."

Comments