MK Dons v Sunderland

Goalscorer's praise for colleagues

by Stuart Vose

Ace Gardner shares plaudits.

Craig Gardner preferred to share the praise around after netting his first goal of the season in spectacular style at MK Dons.

The midfielder helped Sunderland into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup with a bullet of a set-piece just after the break, finding the net from fully 25 yards.

James McClean added a second goal late on to cap a decent night's work for Sunderland, who had Lee Cattermole sent off in the first half.

Gardner grabbed the spotlight with a committed performance at either end of the pitch but preferred to turn his attention to others.

He was particularly impressed with David Meyler, who impressed in an unconventional centre-back role.

“I thought Meyler and [Matt] Kilgallon did exceptionally well, especially as Meyler was out of position,” Gardner said after the game.

“They looked solid. Meanwhile James [McClean] worked his socks off and he got his reward tonight.

“Louis Saha was unbelievable, too. He held the ball up so well, just what you need when you’re under pressure.

“That’s why he’s played for top teams like Man United throughout his career. He’s a top class-player.”