Bryan Oviedo is confident Sunderland can challenge for promotion back to the Premier League next season.
The Black Cats’ 10-year stay in the top-flight will come to an end following Sunday’s clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and they are guaranteed to finish bottom of the standings even if they secure a victory against the champions.
Costa Rica international Oviedo only moved to the Stadium of Light from Everton during the January transfer window, but he is already turning his attention to next season, and he is convinced Sunderland can secure an instant return to the top-flight during the 2017-18 campaign.
“At the moment I feel disappointed because when I came here I came with the ambition to try to help the team to stay in the Premier League but it was not easy,” Oviedo said.
“We didn’t get the results we wanted but we need to look forward and be ready for next season.
The team needs to get back to the the Premier League because everyone wants this – the team and the fans.”
The 27-year-old, who has been limited to just nine league appearances since his arrival in the North East due to injury, believes a positive showing against Chelsea on Sunday can boost the Black Cats ahead of what is likely to be a crucial summer.
“The minimum we can do is play well for them and try to get the result they want but it’s not easy,” he added.
“I hope we will be able to do better for them on Sunday.”
Sunderland are priced at 21.00 to end the season with a victory, while Chelsea are available at 1.14 and the draw is on offer at 8.50.