West Ham v SAFC

MON: We didn't create enough

by Stuart Vose

Boss looks back on Norwich draw.

Martin O’Neill felt his side didn’t create enough against the ten men of Norwich as they were held to a home draw.

Sunderland bounced back from going a goal down, equalising from the penalty spot through Craig Gardner shortly after visiting keeper Mark Bunn was shown a straight red card for handball outside his area.

We should have created more, but we were unable to and suffered the consequences

- Martin O'Neill

But O’Neill felt his side should have made more of the numerical advantage and was unhappy with the defending for Wes Hoolahan’s opener.

“It was a very frustrating game, particularly in the second half,” he said.

“We should have created more, but we were unable to and suffered the consequences.

“I’ve not had chance to watch any of the replays back of the penalty and sending off, but the referee had a job to do and he’s made those decisions."

On Wes Hoolahan's opener for the visitors, he added: "We’ve really got to improve on our set-pieces; I’ve said that before. They are a vitally important part of the game.”

Gardner levelled coolly from the spot following Sebastien Bassong’s handball, but the hosts couldn’t make their possession count in the second half - much to O’Neill’s frustration.

“Craig [Gardner] did very well with the spot-kick,” the Sunderland manager said. 

"He was also very good getting forward in the game - I thought the delay in taking the penalty might have been disturbing but he stuck it away brilliantly.

“We frustratingly gave the ball away when we were in decent positions - we were left trying to force issues that just didn’t exist and suffered the consequences.

“You can find it to be difficult playing against teams with 10 men when they’ve got something to hold onto, but we should have done better."

He concluded: “We’ve got a fortnight before our next game with a number of players going away on international duty. We’ll regroup when they get back and focus on our last eight games.”