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.”
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