Simon Mignolet

Bardsley praises super stopper

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Keeper earns plaudits on 100th appearance.

Phil Bardsley praised Simon Mignolet after the keeper produced another excellent display on his 100th appearance for Sunderland.

The Belgian international made a string of key saves before his side took the lead through a Bardsley goal – his first of the season.

Mignolet could do nothing about Jason Puncheon’s equaliser but preserved a point with a super save to deny Rickie Lambert late on.

“We know what Simon’s capable of; he’s pulled us out of the deep end sometimes – as I say he’s a fantastic goalkeeper,” Bardsley said.

“I was delighted to get on the scoresheet, but disappointed that we only got a draw – I thought we were going to go on and win the game.

“When we scored I thought we built confidence on that and, as I say, it’s disappointing [not to have won].”

Bardsley admitted Sunderland came up against tough opposition in Southampton, who carved out a number of chances only to find Mignolet in fine form.

The defender felt his side were below-par in the first half but says the introduction of Connor Wickham at half time helped to turn the tide a little.

“Southampton are a good team; obviously the manager has got them playing some good stuff.

“We just couldn’t get going and the more the game went on the more difficult we found it – in the first-half we couldn’t get the ball down and play.

“It was a bit of a sloppy first half from ourselves and knew at half-time we had to step the tempo up.

“I thought we did that with Connor coming on – he looked lively considering he’s been out for a number of weeks.”