Manager’s verdict after home draw.
Manager Martin O’Neill watched his side play out a goalless draw with a newly invigorated Queens Park Rangers side in torrential conditions on Wearside.
QPR travelled to the Stadium of Light boosted by the arrival of new manager Harry Redknapp and that transferred onto the pitch.
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet did well to deny former Black Cats striker Djibril Cisse on a number of occasions in the first half and Steven Fletcher almost broke the deadlock when he met an Adam Johnson corner late in the opening period.
Following the encounter, O’Neill told safc.com: “It was a difficult evening.
“Queens Park Rangers were buoyed by the appointment of their new manager and they came with plenty of determination.”
Fletcher had a number of chances in the game, with Carlos Cuellar and Stephane Sessegnon also going close.
“I really felt that at any given stage we could have scored in the game, but it wasn’t to be,” O’Neill continued.
“Simon [Mignolet] made a great save for us and then Steven [Fletcher] went close at the other end. That looked like it was going to be the moment.“Confidence is a big thing, we’ve been talking about it for a while now, but we’ll come through it.”