O'Neill on postponement

by Stuart Vose

Boss says ‘right decision’ made.

Martin O’Neill agreed with the decision of match referee Neil Swarbrick to postpone Sunderland’s home opener against Reading.

Severe rain on Friday evening and throughout the build-up to the game on Saturday left large pools of water lying on the playing surface, particularly in the wide areas.

The conditions left Mr Swarbrick with no choice but to postpone the game due to a waterlogged pitch after consulting with both managers.

“We trained at the stadium on Thursday afternoon to get a feel for the pitch and it was fantastic,” a disappointed O’Neill reflected.

“There has been a lot of rain. We arrived here about the same time as Reading and the referee had serious doubts in his mind.

“He just wanted to confirm with myself and [Reading manager] Brian McDermott.

“It’s the right decision to make but it’s a blow to us.”

O’Neill admitted he could feel the excitement in the build-up following the signings of Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson.

But he will now move on to prepare for Tuesday’s Capital One Cup game against Morecambe, where both of his new stars will be available.

“Even though [the Johnson deal] was announced late last night, many people – I hate to use the word – texted me to say how exciting it was.

“It’s a bit of a downer this afternoon, but we can’t do anything about it.”