Martin O'Neill

O'Neill mulls over win

by Stuart Vose

Boss praises "lovely" football.

Martin O’Neill declared himself pleased with the performance after a goal in each half saw Sunderland ease past Morecambe.

James McClean bagged a brace – both from Adam Johnson assists – as Sunderland avoided a cup banana skin.

“I’m delighted,” O’Neill said afterwards. “I thought we played some really lovely football, particularly in the first half.

“Morecambe played very well. They came here and tried not play – not only that, they were competitive throughout the night.

“I was really glad we got that second goal to take any anxious moments away. I’m just delighted we’ve won.”

McClean opened the scoring 24 minutes in when he got ahead of marker Gary McDonald to head home Johnson’s pinpoint corner.

And he secured the win for the hosts with 25 minutes remaining, firing home from close range after Johnson squared the ball from the right.

O’Neill added: “Both of James’ goals were well-taken – he did brilliantly for the first from the whipped-in corner.

“The second goal was excellent, too. Perhaps James was thinking he might stay on to score his hat-trick, but he had been booked and I didn’t want to lose him for Saturday.”

He continued: “We’re in the hat for the next round, and that’s important. We came through with flying colours, I think.

“There were one or two anxious moments where we were a little sloppy, but overall it was very pleasing.”