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cup replay news…
and gus moaning

Following that poor performance against Fulham, Gus Poyet is realistic about chance creation and highlights that if we want Defoe to score goals, we have to play to his strengths. Gus said: "He (Defoe) will get in the right positions, but it is up to us. If you don’t play forward and you don’t really push in wide areas, he is not going to have the chances. That is why at the end there was more and more because Patrick (van Aanholt) started crossing the ball more."

"The first half was average, poor, boring - it was a difficult game to watch. We didn’t find the rhythm, the passing we were trying to achieve, the pressure to be in their half – we didn’t do it. So Fulham were comfortable passing the ball, and it was not the best game to watch. In the second half it was different. We were more aggressive, we were more forward and we found our wingbacks more often. We had opportunities to put the ball into the box, and then with the sending off it really opened up the game and it became quite an entertaining last 20 minutes. It was a good cup tie, without being spectacular. There were a few chances, and of course Jermain [Defoe] found spaces – until then, Fulham had been very well organised and their gameplan had worked very well for them.”

Gus was also understanding about Jack Rodwell's red card, despite it being entirely avoidable with a little bit of common sense from the player. He said: "The referee probably had no option than to send off Jack, but I’m not bothered because that is the actions of football. People who play football at the highest level know sometimes you can do things. It was nothing that bad to worry about. I’m sure Jack will know, so it is nothing else. It is a problem for him because we are looking for the team to click and win. And if we win on Saturday (against Burnley) he will struggle to get back in."

As for the cup replay; Sunderland will travel to London to face Fulham FC in an FA Cup fourth round replay on Tuesday 3rd February, kick-off 8pm. Tickets for the game will go on sale at 9am on Monday morning. Due to the short time period available, the game will go straight to general sale, with no priority purchase period. Tickets purchased in advance of the game will be available at a special discount - adults £15, and £5 for over 65s, under 21s and under 16s. 

For a full Fulham match report Click Here

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post Fulham craic…
REACTION

Sunderland drew 0-0 with Fulham at home on a painfully cold Saturday afternoon. Sunderland were once again dull, flat and lifeless, much like the former half of a Loreal advert. Goals from nee-one and nee-body occupied the halves, the only highlight being Jack Rodwell's moronic sending off. I'm in a huff.

Gus Poyet was honest about the game, admitting it wasn't exactly a delight to watch. He said: “The idea was to press high and really have a go but I think we were a little too static and a little too safe. It wasn’t one of the nicest games to watch. I thought we started better in the second half, there was more about us and we looked more determined but then the sending off interrupted what we were trying to achieve. Jermain was unlucky not to score; we know what he can do and we need to do a few things better to work with him. It was important for him to get 90 minutes under his belt and he’s done that today.”

Poyet also addressed the fans and their displeasure at our recent performances: “(There is a) disconnection at the moment with the fans. I think the fans want Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips back, but they are not playing anymore. There are plenty of things we need to change, but if not, it’s going to be difficult. There are players who need the famous confidence word, for them to be better. When the Stadium is not happy, the players don’t express themselves. Now kick and rush is very easy. That’s something I would not like to watch week-in, week-out. We are going to try to find the formula to pass the ball better and forwards. A little bit of understanding and patience would be very welcome.”

Gus went easy on Jack Rodwell despite the player making a poor decision leading to a sending off. The Uruguayan gaffer said: “People who play football at the highest level know that sometimes you do things that if you can go back, you won’t do it. It’s nothing that bad to worry about and I’m sure Jack will know. It’s a shame for him (to miss a game) because we’re looking for a team that’s going to play and win. If we win on Saturday, it’s going to be difficult for him to come back. We went four or five months without a sending off and now in two weeks, we’ve had two.”

Liam Bridcutt, who had a particularly poor game, also chipped in on our poor display: "Overall I think we’re disappointed because we target a win from every game and today was no different. We had a great opportunity to progress and we didn’t really perform so in that respect we’re disappointed, but after the red card it was important not to concede and we managed to do that. Despite having ten men we looked positive going forward in the second half and we looked to have a bit more about us, but when you lose a player it is always going to be difficult so after that it was somewhat pleasing to get the result.”

Meanwhile Sunderland coach Charlie Oatway had some words of encouragement for Ricky Alvarez, who hasn't really made an impression yet on Wearside. We have the option to buy Alvarez at the end of the season but thus far we can't really say he has convinced us that he's worth buying. Oatway said: “Ricky’s alright. He had one day off with a slight ankle problem, but then he was back and fine. I think our game in the Premier League is so fast and hard. The first game he played, against Tottenham, was a bit of a culture shock for him. He got banged around everywhere, and we were under the cosh too, because they played brilliant that day. It’s been a learning curve for him, and he’s still adjusting. But it doesn’t look like he’s struggling in training. Every time I mark him, my cartilage goes! He’s a sharp boy. Sooner or later, we have to play him.”

Anthony Reveillere is relishing the competition in his position and sees it as a positive for the team. Rev said: “I know there’s competition now, but that’s football. With other defenders coming back, the manager has got some choices and that’s no problem. It’s much better than when a number of us full-backs were injured. It’s important to get everyone back to 100 per cent, because the team still has a lot of games to play, in league and cup. And then it’s down to the manager to use us all in the most effective way. I’d love everyone to be available on the pitch at the same time, rather than on the treatment table. It’s important that everyone is fit.”

For a full Fulham match report Click Here

Fan Letters Click Here

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On the Buses…
als info

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Our trading hours are as follows: Monday-Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm all year round. On weekend matchdays we open five hours before the match starts and close at kick off. We are also open for 30 mins after the match finishes. For midweek home games, we open at 9am and close at kick off. Please feel free to call 0191 565 4422, pop into our shop, or click here to go straight to our on-line shop and peruse our wares.

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