Manager on Liverpool defeat

by Kate Smith

O’Neill forthright after Anfield loss.

Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill pulled no punches in post match assessment of his side’s defeat at the hands of Liverpool.

After the final whistle at Anfield the Black Cats chief conceded: “Liverpool were too strong for us and deserved to win the game.”

A resurgent Reds side were rampant on the night as Raheem Sterling opened the scoring, before a Luis Suarez goal in each half sealed a convincing win for Brendan Rodgers’ men.

Following a hectic festive schedule, O’Neill admitted: “It looked as though we ran out of steam out there tonight.

“We started off very brightly indeed and had Liverpool on the back-foot, but once they got their goal they opened us up and exploited us.”

If not for goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Uruguayan hitman Suarez could have added more to his 14 goals for the season thus far.

“Luis Suarez is a top quality footballer and he was a handful tonight.” O’Neill added.

“Perhaps it was a case of a bridge too far, we’ve played four games in 12 days and we’ve got one of the smallest squads in the Barclays Premier League.

“We’ve had some big games as of late and maybe in terms of recovery we just haven’t got that ability to switch things around as we would like to.

“As always we’ll dust ourselves off and get ready to go again on Saturday as we’ve got a big game at Bolton in the FA Cup.”