Martin’s Musings: MK Dons 0 SAFC 2 the ten men get the job done

"Through!" says Jake
At the start of the season most Sunderland fans would see this competition as the best opportunity our team has to win a trophy. The manager probably thinks so too and also sees it as an opportunity to give important squad players valuable playing time. And despite our captain’s best efforts to level things up by taking the early bath the Lads come through. So objective achieved and maybe the biggest plus from this game will be in the effect it has on Sess and Jimmy Mac before Wigan and over the next few Premiership games. The manager is happy and we are in the hat for the next round. Here’s how MON saw it

Dear Colin,

We were comfortable winners in the end but it didn’t feel like that having gone down to 10 men.

It’s a big pitch and MK Dons keep the ball very well, however [Craig] Gardner’s goal in the second half was the turning point for us.

It was a great goal from the free kick and we went on to defend stoutly to win the game.

We had to make a couple of enforced changes ahead of the game.

We started brightly – the sending off knocked us back slightly but we recovered well to get the win.

I’m delighted for the team and especially delighted for the crowd who turned out here tonight.

I thought [James] McClean was excellent all night. He worked hard for the team, he got back and covered two or three players.

[Stephane] Sessegnon did the same, dropping back admirably, and he looks like he’s getting somewhere near the form he showed last year.

The two centre backs were also terrific. Matt Kilgallon stepped in and did well and when you take into consideration that David Meyler is a midfield player, he did tremendously and adapted very well.

All the best,

Beware of forgeries

8 thoughts on “Martin’s Musings: MK Dons 0 SAFC 2 the ten men get the job done”

  1. They should be giving him a real roasting Bill. Someone else is going to have to take the armband in his absence. I think he needs to “earn it back” after that.

  2. Those fateful words: “From where I was standing… it didn’t look too bad…”
    It’s good in one way to see the team rallying behind Cattermole. I hope at the same time, they’re making it clear that they don’t appreciate the consequences of his stupidity. It weakens the side at a time when they need to be at full strength and winning games.
    Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for O’Neill to take away the captaincy for a few games. Maybe then Cattermole would get this self-destructive streak under control. Otherwise, that career crosswords might arrive sooner than anyone thinks.

  3. I agree CSB. Prior to his injury DM looked to me as if he was going to be a more complete player than Cattermole would ever be. His lay off hasn’t done him any favours and he will take time to settle in properly once again. MON didn’t want him to leave on loan to Hull and said that he wants him to recover and play for us during his “rehabilitation.” Some of his predecessors would have just farmed him out. Familiar surroundings and being at home should help him a lot. Good management in my view.

    • He has now.

      From ESPN

      “It was senseless and needless and didn’t give the referee much option in fairness,” O’Neill told the Sunderland Echo. “I’m told that he’s got five red cards here at Sunderland and seven in his career and, with him still being only 24, I think it’s something he needs to look at.

      “He’s the captain of the side and, as a manager, you talk about the importance of discipline to players before the game and it is important your captain demonstrates that discipline. So it really is something he has to look at afresh. I’ve only seen a replay of the incident very, very briefly, but it looked to me as though he left the referee with no choice.”

      Despite O’Neill’s anger at the challenge, he confirmed that Cattermole will not be stripped of the armband, but did concede that the former Middlesbrough and Wigan player has issues he needs to address.

      “The bottom line is you have to help yourself. As a player, you have to instil it within yourself how you’re going to go on,” O’Neill said. “In incidents in games, the referee generally has only one quick look at it and, if you’re going to lunge in with your feet, you’re going to get sent off. That’s something he has to address.

      “I wouldn’t say he’s at the crossroads of his career or anything like that, and I’m not searching around for a new captain. But it’s bad enough with the sending off, bad enough the consequences of it with him missing games. And the sad thing is that he’d got off to a very good start but now he’s missing three games and you just can’t afford it.”

      Meanwhile Sunderland’s Craig Gardner has insisted that his teammates are rallying round Cattermole following his dismissal – as well as admitting to feeling sympathetic towards his captain’s situation.

      “I feel sorry for Catts because he’s been brilliant all season. His attitude in training and on the pitch is spot on. He’s a true leader and I just feel sorry for him,” Gardner said. “He’s the last person in the world who wants to get sent off.

      “He was rock bottom in the dressing room afterwards and everyone was trying to pick him up. Hopefully we’ll get him back in the team. From where I was standing at right-back, it didn’t look too bad. But I could be wrong. He was the other side of the pitch. We’ve got to get behind him and lift him up.”

  4. Interesting to see Meyler feature at centre back. I think that a lot has been expected of DM since he came back from injury. A lot of people seem ready to write him off but there was a really good player developing before his lengthy lay off and I hope that he gets the chance to get back to his best possible form and that the fans give David the time and opportunity to do that.

    MON clearly likes him, both as a lad and a player and for once I think we can all trust the judgement of our manager. That’s a luxury we’ve not had for quite some time.

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