Last season, CD Nacional finished fifth in the Portuguese top flight,qualifying for the Europa League. So the win that looked for a long while like coming would have been an impressive second win in Sunderland’s short trip to the Algarve, Instead, a late goal brought defeat, Gus Poyet remained upbeat, as managers do when able to pass off pre-season reverses as essentially exercises in fitness and blending. Here’s his post-match e-mail from Portugal’s holiday playground …
It’s never nice to lose in the last minute of a game but we all know the main focus of pre-season is getting the players fit ahead of the new season.
The players did very well, I would say the first half is the best we’ve played in a while. There was lots of possession, lots of getting forward and we created lots of chances.
In the second half the players looked to have heavy legs and the game became a little more open, unfortunately we weren’t organised enough to finish the game in a nice way.
The result is secondary; I’m happy with what we got out of the game and how the players performed.
Patrick [van Aanholt] did very well, he looked like he’s been here for a while and linked up well with the players around him and he got forward, which is what you want to see from a full-back.
Johnno, Giaccherini, Gomez, Wickham and Fletcher all linked up well, creating chances for one another. I was happy with what I saw from them.
Thanks for your support,
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