Simon Mignolet

Mignolet savours away day win

by Stuart Vose

Stopper delighted with Cats' comeback.

Simon Mignolet praised Sunderland's response to an early Wigan goal as the Black Cats came from behind to win in Lancashire.

The Belgian keeper was beaten five minutes in as Ronnie Stam's wayward shot struck David Vaughan and bounced over the line.

But Craig Gardner soon restored parity from the penalty spot before Steven Fletcher converted after good work from debutant Alfred N'Diaye.

And Fletcher, back after illness, crowned the win at the DW Stadium with a sharp finish into the top corner after receiving a neat lay-off from Adam Johnson.

Wigan pulled a goal back with 10 minutes to go, but Mignolet and Sunderland held firm and the stopper says all concerned can reflect on an excellent afternoon's work.

“We did well after going 1-0 down away to Wigan – a very good footballing side who can score goals,” he said.

“Vaughany was unlucky [with the own goal] but the way we responded was more important.

“To score three goals of our own, get the three points and move up the table is what it's all about.”

The Belgian, who has been in magnificent form this season, pulled off a key save to deny Wigan dangerman Shaun Maloney in the early stages of the second half.

The winger turned sharply in the box to snap a shot towards goal, but Mignolet was equal to the effort and managed to pull off a brilliant reaction save low to his left.

“It was a good shot to be fair and I was very happy with the save,” Mignolet explained.

“It was only about the 50th minute or something like that, and if the ball had gone in it would have been a tough task to hang on. 

“Therefore [the save] helped the team out. We did concede later in the game but we only had to defend for 10 more minutes as opposed to more than half an hour.”

And Mignolet reserved special praise for the away fans as almost 5,000 supporters packed out the visiting section at the DW Stadium.

“The fans were unbelievable,” he explained. “For 5,000 people to travel down in the wintry conditions and support us was fantastic.

“It felt like we were playing a home game out there and I'm just glad we could give them something back by winning the game.”