Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet looking forward to reunion with Norwich City’s Michael Turner
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Michael Turner can expect no favours from his old Sunderland team-mates as Norwich City bid to increase the pressure on the Black Cats in this weekend's televised Premier League tussle at the Stadium of Light.
The Wearsiders' keeper Simon Mignolet played behind Turner for two seasons in the north-east and the Belgian international admits City's centre-back has been a big miss this campaign. Martin O'Neill's struggling side remain three points behind the Canaries ahead of Sunday's game after picking up one point from their last 15 on offer.
'It will be good to see Michael back,' said Mignolet. 'He did a good job while he was here. We got on well and as a goalkeeper you always have a good connection with your centre-backs. Michael is playing regularly at Norwich and I didn't expect any different. He is a very good player.
'It's a big game for both teams, we know that. To be honest I prefer to play in big, important games. We have to make sure we're up for it – at home with the crowd behind us we can get the three points. Norwich is a good team but we have to look at ourselves rather than thinking about what they are going to do. We can't over-think things. The solution is within ourselves. We need some wins and we have enough ability in this squad to make it happen.'
Mignolet warns Turner and the rest of Norwich's defence will have to try and stop Steven Fletcher, who took his league tally to 11 goals in last weekend's latest Premier League defeat at QPR following his £12m summer switch from Wolves.
'We all know Steven can score a goal and last week will be good for his confidence,' Mignolet told the club's official site. 'He is a very good finisher and we see that every day in training. I'm sure he'll score some more before the end of the season.
'We have to look forward and it is important we do that rather than talk about the last couple of games. It is important to look upwards and for ourselves to make sure we are ready for the game. We can still end up where we want to be – there's a lot still to play for. There's three points up for grabs this weekend and we need to make sure we get them and then end the season on a high.'
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O'Neill admits it is cruch time on the eve of his former club's visit after a 3-1 defeat at Loftus Road.
'We've got some exceptionally hard fixtures in front of us, but we have to just press ahead and get something out of them,' he said. 'And, in that context, the Norwich City game up next becomes a very big one for us. I think QPR were obviously buoyed by beating Southampton. I'm sure they'd targeted the game against us for another win, but it was a game we expected to get something out of too.'