BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Football: Teams: Sunderland  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Teams
Statistics
FA Cup
Eng Prem
Internationals
Champions League
Uefa Cup
Eng Div 1
Eng Div 2
Eng Div 3
Eng Conf
Scot Prem
Scottish Cup
Scot Div 1
Scot Div 2
Scot Div 3
Europe
Africa
League of Wales
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 23:08 GMT
Ball upbeat about Black Cats job
Former Sunderland skipper Kevin Ball
Ball retired from playing at the end of last season
Former Sunderland skipper Kevin Ball has returned to the Stadium of Light in an attempt to help the Black Cats avoid the Premiership trapdoor.

Ball, who hung up his boots at the end of last season, has taken up a coaching role at struggling Sunderland.

"I've watched what has happened in the last couple of years since I left the club and I've kicked every ball they've kicked," he said.

"I've seen plenty of ups and downs and I can understand what the players are going through at the moment.

"I've seen everything from mundane seasons to relegation, promotion and two defeats at Wembley.

"It's not as though I'm coming to the club and don't know what has happened. If there is anything I can do to help, I will do it."

I believe the club can get out of it

Kevin Ball

Ball plans to get involved with Howard Wilkinson's players and to offer advice based on his experience.

"I'll talk to the players, it's just my busy nature where I want to do my bit," he added.

"The biggest thing now is getting out of the bottom three and I am sure the players will be giving their all to do it.

"I believe the club can get out of it, but you have to have the mentality to feel that way."

McAteer boost

Meanwhile, Jason McAteer has given manager Wilkinson a boost ahead of Saturday's fifth round FA Cup tie against Watford by proving his fitness in a reserve-team game.

"I am going to say to the gaffer that I am available for Saturday if he wants me," said McAteer.

McAteer has had two hernia operations since his last game in October.

"I think mentally I needed that game. I got an hour under my belt and I still had stuff in the tank, so it's a great sign," said the midfielder.

Click here for all the latest from the My Club section

News and Statistics

Daily club news
Links to more Sunderland stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sunderland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales