Sunderland drew 3-3 away at Brentford in a game where we failed to protect a 3-1 half-time lead. Two from Lewis Grabban and a bizarre goal direct from the corner by Oviedo seemed to be enough to kill the game off, but Brentford fought back in the second period. By the end we were lucky to take anything from the game at all. It’s still a point away from home, but it should have been three.
Simon Grayson had this to say afterwards: “We responded well to going a goal down early to a soft goal against – I thought Lee Cattermole was fouled in the build-up when we had the ball,” he said. “To lose a 3-1 lead is disappointing. When you're in that situation you want to see the game through. The second goal was very close to being a good tackle by Didier. I think he got the ball and then we're disappointed to see it in the back of our net. We responded well again, didn't buckle too much and were asking questions on the counter attack. Then the third goal's a huge deflection. When you get 3-1 up you want to win the game, but it's three games unbeaten so the glass is half-full and we'll look to build on it next week now. Six points against Bristol City and Bolton is the objective, of course it is,” Grayson added, whose side also face Millwall after a trip to Burton. We need to build on the last few games, and performances to a certain degree. The focus is three points on Saturday and then we will move on to the midweek game.”
Duncan Watmore was pretty honest in his summing up of the performance. He said: “Not being negative but you don’t go into a game at half-time thinking two goals is enough, if you do then it is complacency and we all said that. There was a lot of luck about their third goal but we won’t use any excuses. We are just frustrated, we all wanted the win. We have to keep building on the undefeated run and turn the draws into wins. That is what everyone at the club is focused on doing. 3-1 up at half-time you expect to win the game. All the lads are a bit deflated, as you’d expect. We created a lot of chances, we are very frustrated. We looked a threat every time we went forward. When you are in a bad position you want to go on an unbeaten run as that is where you build your momentum but we wanted to win a couple of these games. The way I see it, is we just have to kick on and use this foundation to go and get wins. The fans again turned out in great numbers, we understand they are frustrated but we have to keep going and get the results they deserve.”
Meanwhile, Simon Grayson was in defiant mood about his own future and believes his experience will see him through."I've been a manager 12 years, for 660 games or whatever, and it’s not always gone well for me in that time. I’ve had to dig deep to get results at times and trust my ability, it’s no different now. We’re in a tough position, but I trust my ability and the players, I know their capabilities and I sense that we’re not far from turning it around. But the proof is in the pudding, you need to get results, we know that and we need to win matches to get out of the position we results, we’re in. I think what’s happened in the past is the past, it’s what people decide in the future that matters."
Despite poor results Grayson does not believe there is a problem with the atmosphere at the club. "I've worked at Leeds where it has been a volatile club, gone through difficult stages and come through that, you have to keep that belief in your staff and in yourself. If the players are moping around and disagreeing with everything then you know you’ve got a tough job, but that isn’t the vibe around this training ground. Somebody said to me the other day its the best vibe they’ve seen in years, that’s a reflection of the players and why I think ultimately it will turn around. You’ve got have a good relationship with your chief executive and Martin Bain and I certainly do. I think he’s the first to admit that we’re both in this together, he’s employed me, I’ve come to work for the club and we’re working so hard to achieve what we all want, getting results and getting further up the table which we should be doing.”
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