Craig Gardner

Gardner on Arsenal defeat

by Stuart Vose

Hard-working Cats unlucky to lose, says midfielder.

Craig Gardner says Sunderland’s players must pick themselves up and move on after suffering a narrow defeat to Arsenal.

Santi Cazorla’s first-half goal proved the difference between the two sides despite Sunderland laying siege to the visitors’ goal following Carl Jenkinson’s 62nd-minute red card.

Keeper Wojciech Szczesny turned in a man of the match performance in goal for the Gunners and Gardner felt Sunderland were unlucky not to come away with at least a point.

The reaction from the crowd said it all; they applauded the team off the pitch

- Craig Gardner

“We created so many chances in the second half and just couldn’t put them away,” he said.

“The reaction from the crowd said it all; they applauded the team off the pitch. We worked hard in the game but just couldn’t find a way through.”

Leading scorer Steven Fletcher was twice denied by Szczesny as well as shooting narrowly wide when one-on-one.

Defender Titus Bramble fired wide in a scramble, while the home side carved out a number of other opportunities.

“It was a tough one to take,” Gardner added. “Every one of the players in the dressing room was disappointed not to take anything from the game.

“One positive from the game is that no other team I’ve seen this season have dominated Arsenal the way we did in the second half.”

The Black Cats have a free weekend coming up with the league programme set to take a break for the fifth round of the FA Cup with Budweiser.

And Gardner says his side need to get their points tally moving again when they resume league action at West Brom next week.

"We need to start getting points on the board and get back to winning games,” he explained.

“I thought we might have been able to nick it and get a goal [against Arsenal] and it’s disappointing not to have, but we pick ourselves up and get ready to go again.”