For the first time in three games, Martin O’Neill had something to smile about at the final whistle. A decent second-half recovery saved the day after Bolton doubled their early lead. Sunderland live to fight on – we’ll know tomorrow what the reward would be if the replay saw us progressing to the next round …
I’m delighted with the second half performance and that we are still in the competition.
It was a stirring effort and the players did magnificently.
They found some energy from somewhere to dig deep and fight back after conceding two sloppy goals and lose a couple of more players to injuries.
Just after their second goal we perhaps could have been forgiven for packing in, but we didn’t and neither did the crowd.
The second half was non-stop.
We had chances to go on and get a winner, [James] McClean went close and so did Titus [Bramble] when he had a header from a tight angle.
We fought really strongly and I’m delighted with the effort from the team and crowd.
Connor Wickham did very well when he came on. It was great for him to get the goal and [Craig] Gardner’s was a very special strike.
It rocketed into the back of the net – a truly terrific goal.
Bolton’s goalkeeper made a number of good saves to keep them in the game towards the end. He was outstanding for them.
We looked like we had ran out of energy at Anfield earlier in the week but today we found some resource and determination to go on.
To be in the hat for the next round is what we wanted and we’ve achieved that.
All the best,