Sunderland started brightly in the capital and played their best football of the season in the first half against Charlton. They ran out of ideas a little in the second after failing to convert some easy chances and had to see the game out after Tom Flanagan was sent off with 20 minutes to go.
Phil Parkinson had this to say afterwards.
Parkinson said: "All in all it was a decent performance. It's frustrating that we haven't taken one of those chances because we have had some gilt-edged ones today. We had more than enough chances today, away from home, to kill the game off but we didn't take them. We can't ask for more in terms of endeavour from the players, though, and after the Carlisle Trophy game on Tuesday we will go into the international break in good spirits. Some of the football we played today, the way we switched play and made the pitch big in possession, some of the overloads we had in wide areas, was great - exactly what we need to play in this system. We're pleased with the work ethic and the mentality of the players, but equally we have to be clinical when we get those moments.”
PP on those missed chances that costs us two points.
"There were crosses going across the six-yard box, Danny Graham has had a great chance, there was Bailey Wright's header which the keeper made a world-class save from, and even with ten men we probably had the best opportunities to go and win it. It's the life of a striker though - when you miss chances, you have to brave enough to go back in the six yard box again, and I believe we have strikers who have that bravery and if we keep producing the quality, they will get goals. They [Graham and O'Brien] looked a threatening partnership today and they should link up well because one is a good hold-up player, and the other likes to run the channel and get into those areas. It was just the finish that missing today, but that's what strikers are paid to provide and I'm sure they will do that."
The gaffer on our points return so far.
"If you can't get all three points, you make sure you get back on the coach with a point and we did that today. Eight points from the first four games is a good return, it's a good platform to build on. If you look at the start to the season, Bristol Rovers...yeah, but then Oxford, Peterborough, and Charlton, they are three teams that are going to be up there around us. So to get an average of two points per game is decent, although we know we should be taking about a victory today. I was very pleased with the resilience we showed with ten men because Charlton threw on some good players such as [Chuks] Aneke and [Marcus] Maddison, so we had to keep our concentration and we did that so that side of it was good.
Parkinson on Flanagan’s red card.
"I've looked at it, and it's come from probably the first header we lost all game. Flanno just got caught a little bit and he was last man, so I've no complaints with that."