Fletcher reflects on defeat

by Stuart Vose

Fletcher looks back on second-half showing at Hull.

Steven Fletcher felt Sunderland were unlucky not to come away with a share of the spoils despite being reduced to nine men at Hull.

Two red cards just before the break meant a tough assignment for the Black Cats, who eventually succumbed 1-0.

The gaffer told us at half time to keep going and keep battling

- Steven Fletcher

But they created several opportunities despite the two-man disadvantage with head coach Gus Poyet using both of his two remaining substitutions at half time.

“We had chances going forward and obviously tightened things up at the back at the break,” Fletcher said.

“We knew that if we did that we’d get chances, which we did, and we were unlucky not to take them.

“The gaffer told us at half time to keep going and keep battling.”

Sunderland’s best chance fell to Adam Johnson, who went clean through only to be denied by a good save from Steve Harper in the Hull goal.

“It was a good chance for Johnno – the defender misjudged the ball and I think I said ‘goal’ under my breath when he went through,” Fletcher said.

“He was a bit disappointed but it was unlucky.”

The Scot also reserved a word of praise for goalkeeper Vito Mannone, who made his league debut for the club as a first-half substitute.

The former Arsenal stopper replaced Keiren Westwood just before the break and was a key player in the second half for the visitors, making an outstanding save to deny Jake Livermore.

“Vito came on and did well,” said Fletcher, who played as a lone striker in the second period.

“He pulled off a great save and came out well for a few crosses. When he got it he tried to hit me early [on the break] which was good.”