David: We Can Do It

David Connolly insists that promotion is still there for the taking - and says the key is overcoming teams who raise their game when travelling to Upton Park.

Looking at the Preston defeat, he says:

"It was a disappointing day; we looked comfortable without playing very well though we didn't retain possession enough up front and invited quite a lot of pressure on the lads.

"Then when we conceded the first goal we didn't look like the same team as before the goal and it was a bit similar to the Ipswich game - that is fresh in the memory and it was the exact same thing, really.

"They were a good side who would deal any team problems but we were dealing with it, I feel.

"But they had the free kick which was moved 10 yards nearer the goal, and it was a combination of little things like that - all of which contributes.

"I think when teams come here they raise their game; Preston man-marked us at the back and made it difficult for the lads up front - they did have a game plan to make it hard.

"Visiting teams normally wouldn't play at our place but now they are and they do raise their game, no doubt.

"That is probably why we are finding it particularly hard to get the results at home."

Typically, David - despite two goals in two games and showing constant work rate to close the opposition down - does not exempt himself from criticism, and adds:

"We have to keep plugging away and eradicate the mistakes that all of us make; maybe we could have been two up and perhaps I could have taken one a bit earlier - but I have taken my time on other ones before and it has worked out so six of one and half a dozen of the other, so to speak.

"We have to knuckle down to win at home because the away form has been good.

"As I said, we lost to Ipswich in a similar vein and we have to put it right, stop inviting that pressure to the back four and the goalkeeper because they can't defend all the time.

"We have to do a bit more going forward, keeping it, and easing the pressure."

But he insists that promotion is well within reach if results pick up, and stresses:

"It is still up for grabs; we have only dropped one place and with three points for a win we can still get up there.

"Sunderland are only three points of second now so it just shows you - it is still possible to get up there, definitely.

As for whether new faces is the inevitable consequence of another home defeat, he says:

"I don't know - is it? The team is good enough to go out there and get results so it is the manager's call."