Simon Mignolet

Mignolet praises poacher Fletcher

by Stuart Vose

Keeper impressed by hitman's contribution.

Simon Mignolet praised Steven Fletcher’s predatory instincts after the striker netted yet again in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

Sunderland’s new signing took his goal tally to three in two games by firing Sunderland into the lead against the Reds at the Stadium of Light.

The Scot met Craig Gardner’s 29th-minute cross with perfect timing to slide the ball beyond a helpless Pepe Reina.

But Luis Suarez levelled in the second half to earn a point as Sunderland remained unbeaten with three draws so far. 

And Mignolet was left impressed with the contribution made by Fletcher, who joined Sunderland from Wolves last month.

“He is always in the right place at the right time,” the Belgian said.

“You can feel in training sessions that he is always there looking to nick a goal, and that’s what you have to do as a striker.

“Craig [Gardner] played really well; he goes down the flank and puts in good crosses all the time in training.

“But Steven had to be there to finish it off and he’s very good at that. It was a good goal.”

Mignolet was the busier of the two goalkeepers, pulling off a string of fine saves including a pair of first-half stops to deny the busy Fabio Borini.

But he could do nothing about Liverpool’s equaliser, scored by Suarez after Raheem Sterling’s cross deflected off the unfortunate Titus Bramble.

“We were the better team in the first half and created a couple of chances, but they put us under pressure in the second,” he continued.

“I think 1-1 was a fair result, but on the other hand Liverpool were very lucky with the goal they scored.

“We were disappointed not to get the three points but generally I think we are happy with a point at home against Liverpool.

“They have two very good wingers and the crosses were difficult to defend.

“Unfortunately we conceded a bit of a crazy goal with all the deflections, but overall the defence can be happy with the performance.”