Rock bottom Sunderland have to do whatever it takes to grind out results if they are to stand any chance of avoiding relegation from the Premier League, striker Victor Anichebe said.
Anichebe, who was out with a knee injury, returned to the starting side for the first time since January in the 3-0 loss to Manchester United on Sunday and he is keen to find his best form as soon as possible for the final seven matches.
“It’s going to take me a couple of games, I wish I had time, or we had time, but we don’t… we haven’t had a good week,” Anichebe told British media.
“We just have to go out every game and try and perform. I need to just keep going and so do the team, just grind out results any way we can. It’s not good enough, let’s be honest, we need to improve as a team.”
Sunderland’s loss to United left them winless in seven games and 10 points adrift of safety ahead of Saturday’s home match against 14th-placed West Ham United.
Sunderland are set to terminate the contract of defender Emmanuel Eboue after he was suspended by Fifa from all football-related activity for one year.
The 32-year-old, who joined the Black Cats until the end of the season on 9 March, was given the ban after failing to pay money owed to a former agent.
Sunderland said Eboue did not make the club aware of the matter, which relates to a dispute from July 2013.
The Ivory Coast international has two weeks to appeal against the decision.
Eboue, who has not made a first team appearance for the Black Cats, had been ordered by Fifa to pay agent Sebastien Boisseau an undisclosed amount he was entitled to under the terms of an agreement between the pair.
The former Arsenal full-back was fined 30,000 Swiss francs (£21,000) in September 2014 and given four months to settle the matter.
Eboue spent eight seasons at the Gunners after arriving from Belgian side Beveren in 2004, before moving to Turkey, where he won three Super Lig titles and five domestic trophies with Galatasaray.
He began training with Sunderland in February.
Sunderland defender Emmanuel Eboue has been banned from taking part in football activities for one year by FIFA over a contractual dispute with a former agent.
Eboue, 32, signed for Sunderland on a short-term contract in March after being released by Galatasaray. But the former Ivory Coast international will not be allowed to play for his club until he pays money owed to a former agent: Sebastien Boisseau.
A FIFA statement read: “On 9 September 2014, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee decided to sanction Mr Eboue with a fine of CHF 30,000 for failing to comply with the decision of the single judge of the Players’ Status Committee on the basis of art. 64 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
“The player was also granted a final period of grace of 120 days to settle his debt, upon failure of which the creditor — Mr Boisseau — would be entitled to request that a one-year ban on taking part in any football-related activity be imposed on Mr Eboue.
“Mr Eboue appealed to CAS against the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s decision, but the appeal was dismissed and the decision of the Disciplinary Committee confirmed in full.
“Following the expiry of the final deadline granted, Mr Boisseau requested that the one-year ban be imposed on Mr Eboue in accordance with the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. The relevant parties, including The Football Association which has been requested to implement said ban, have been informed accordingly.”
Sunderland signed Eboue in their bid to avoid relegation this season. They currently sit two points off safety, but with a game in hand on 17th placed Norwich.
England international Adam Johnson has been sacked by Premier League Sunderland after he pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child, the club said on Thursday.
“In light of Adam Johnson’s guilty pleas, the club has today terminated his contract with immediate effect,” Sunderland said in a statement. “The club will make no further comment.”
Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child, but denied two other charges, when he appeared at Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old winger, with 12 games for England, also admitted one count of grooming a girl under the age of 16, a court official said.
Johnson, who began his career at Middlesbrough and also played for Manchester City, joined Sunderland for £10 million in 2012 on a four-year contract.
He has been a regular for the Premier League side this season and scored in their last game.