It sounded, from Benno and Barnes’s commentary, as bad as it got under McCarthy, Keane, Sbragia or Bruce. Martin O’Neill was left with the duty of composing his first post-match e-mail as manager of a comprehensively beaten Sunderland. See also Sixer’s Sevens: from ecstasy to embarrassment …
Today’s defeat was very disappointing indeed.
We were second best throughout the entire first half, which is unusual for us.
It didn’t get that much better in the second half – we did really try, we took some risks, but we were well beaten by a side who were better than us on the day.
Their early goal set the tone for the game but it shouldn’t have done.
We have come back from adversity in the past and been able to pull ourselves out of similar situations.
It was a sloppy goal for us to concede but we should have done better throughout the rest of the half; we allowed them to turn and twist and we gave them far too much time on the ball.
This time last week we were applauding ourselves for a really great effort against Arsenal in the cup and we have to keep performances like that going – we can’t afford to take rests.
We have to digest this defeat; it’s been tough to take.
It’s very difficult to criticise the players, they’ve put their heart and soul into these matches and have done very well in recent weeks. We have to keep going.
It was to our credit that we didn’t close the game up at 2-0 and just say that’s it, damage limitation – it’s not in our nature and I don’t want it to be.
* See Kartun Malaysia’s Flickr images at this link