Barcelona defender Dani Alves has made it clear that the club are still very much undergoing a development stage and that the progress is already showing on the pitch. Alves returned to the Camp Nou once again after signing a one-year contract that will see him play for the Spanish La Liga giants for at least one year, with the option to further extend the deal for another year. One would think that at 38, Alves should be already hanging his boots and calling it quit on his career, but that has not been the case with the former Juventus star has shown that he is a fine wine and that age has nothing on him.
Although the return of Alves sparked promising signs that the club are treading on the right path in their bid to regain their status as one of the most dreaded and best teams in the world, they have still fallen short of that reputation judging by their recent performances on the pitch. At the start of the season, most especially, Barca were a very underwhelming side and their inability to win games that they were expected to became an issue of major concern.
However, when their most recent games are put into consideration, they have been able to show enough resilience and proof that they are now a better side. Having already managed to fight their way back into the top four of the Spanish La Liga table especially from the very precarious position the were occupying at the star of the season, one would commend their progress.
Alves has now revealed that the team has become better through hard work, resilience, and dedication heading into the second half of the season, insisting that if they continue in this vein, they will become more formidable next season.
Sunderland skipper Corry Evans has made a playoff claim ahead of the League One clash with Cambridge United this weekend. Evans told the Sunderland Echo that the Black Cats will have to take advantage of their extra gameover their rivals for a place in the playoff as far as League One football is concerned.
The Black Cats are in seventh spot on the League One standings, but they have an extra game on the the teams in fifth and sixth spots, the last two positions for the playoffs.The top two teams in League One will secure automatic promotion to the English Championship, while the teams from third to sixth will battle it out for the third and final slot for Championship promotion via the playoffs.
Sunderland have 77 points from 43 games in seventh spot as revealed earlier. They have the same points tally as Wycombe Wanderers in sixth spot but they have played one more game than the Black Cats. Plymouth Argyle have 79 points from 44 games in fifth place, while Sheffield Wednesday in fourth place have the same points tally as Plymouth after 43 games.
Black Cats skipper Corry Evans knows that they have a lot of work to do if they are to finish in the playoff places starting with the home game against Cambridge United on Saturday afternoon. Corry Evans and his Sunderland teammates will end the weekend in the playoff places if they secure a win at home to Cambridge United and Wycombe Wanderers fail to win their home game against Sheffield Wednesday. Also, it is important to note that Sunderland have the advantage of an extra game over Wycombe Wanderers.
Ahead of the Cambridge United game, Sunderland are one of the most in-form teams in League One. They are unbeaten in the last two months.