By Kevin Phillips

4th Oct, 2021 | 9:51am

Phillips: Sunderland have 'massive worry' after Johnson reveal

Kevin Phillips has claimed complacency is “a massive, massive worry” for Sunderland this season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Stadium of Light legend stressed the importance of Lee Johnson keeping his squad’s feet on the ground.

A 4-0 loss at Portsmouth on Saturday saw the Black Cats drop to second in League One.

Speaking ahead of the game last week, Johnson told the Chronicle his players must not “believe their own hype” in their search for promotion.

Phillips applauded the Sunderland manager for acknowledging such concerns early in the season.

“Complacency is Sunderland’s biggest worry but it is the same for any club challenging near the top of the table,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.

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“They have gone into a season with great expectation. They have the best squad and the biggest budget so most people believe they should be going up. You have got to take that into consideration.

“Sunderland have been there and seen it now. They cannot get complacent.

“The coaching staff are trying to keep everyone’s feet on the ground. The result against Portsmouth wasn’t great but there is a long, long way to go.

“We all know the history of Sunderland over the last few years. Hopefully they can go one further this year. They just have to keep putting points on the board.

“Complacency is a massive, massive worry but it’s good to see Lee Johnson is addressing it so early in the season.”

In other news, Phillips has revealed the details of Sunderland boardroom talks from last month.