Last game of the season so Martin O’Neill’s last post-match e-mail to Salut! Sunderland (and a few others). As I awaited its arrival, I thought about what I’d like to find in it: relief that the season’s over, unbridled optimism for the next one, a hint of contrition? Would we have settled for 13th top when Steve Bruce left us in something closely resembling a shambles last November? Maybe. But the MON-inspired revival raised hopes, admittedly too high given what he inherited and had to make do with, and it is difficult for this Sunderland fan – who, incidentally, feels a little sympathy for the United fans, though this rare experience of failure may prove character building – to escape the flattest of feelings tonight. Then the e-mail dropped and this is what the boss had to say …
Coming into the game, even though it was at home, we were almost the sideshow.
We had a spell in the game where we could have equalised just before half time, but overall it was a tough afternoon for us.
Simon Mignolet made some great saves for us. We just lack a cutting edge, but overall it’s been a really great effort by the players.
In the next couple of weeks we’ll have time to reflect and time to consider a lot of things.
Overall I’m delighted because naturally I was concerned back in December whether we’d still be in this league.
It’s been a big effort by the players and a big effort by the supporters.
The day was full of drama. Manchester United looked to have won the championship, but suddenly there was news breaking through of the goals at the Etihad Stadium.
It was amazing to be part of it – surreal, really.
Maybe one day we will have something to celebrate on the final day of the season.
On a personal note I would like to say thank you to all the supporters for their backing this season. You have been magnificent and that support is very much appreciated by everyone.
All the best,