SAFC v Spurs

O’Neill's verdict on home defeat

by Kate Smith

Manager reflects on Spurs reverse.

Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill was happy with his side’s display despite slipping to defeat at the hands of Tottenham at the Stadium of Light.

After John O’Shea fired the home side in front, O’Neill admitted he was frustrated with the way his side lost momentum in the game as the Londoners snatched two goals in two minutes early in the second half.

Following the game, the Black Cats boss admitted: “We fought really hard to get ourselves in front in the game.

It was a major blow and the own goal changed the momentum of the game.

- Martin O'Neill

“Tottenham hit the bar from a chance we maybe should have cleared, but I don’t remember them causing us a great deal of problems in the first half.

“We got the goal and it gave us something to go for in the second half but then we came out and conceded two goals in two minutes,” the manager continued, “it was a major blow and the own goal changed the momentum of the game.”

Defender Carlos Cuellar put through his own net after Sunderland failed to clear Gareth Bale’s corner, before moments later Aaron Lennon put the visitors in the lead.

“We should have done better leading up to that corner. It went into the net off Carlos’ head; we can’t do much about that, but the second could have been avoided,” O’Neill conceded.

“Two goals in two minutes deflated us and it took us some time to get back in the game.

“There were moments when we had really decent possession and it’s from there where you need to choose the right option.

“That is the making of real big players in this league – making the right choices at the right time.

“It was a good effort from the players. Maybe they were feeling the effects of Boxing Day a little, especially with 10 minutes to go; we needed a second breath to get at them.

“We stuck at it right to the end, still putting pressure on Spurs.

“The team never gave up, nor did the crowd. “