Gardner reflects on draw

by Ashley Houghton

Midfielder praises character after hard-fought point.

Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner praised the Black Cats’ character as Gus Poyet’s side came from two goals behind to earn a point against Southampton at the Stadium of Light.

Fabio Borini and Adam Johnson levelled for the hosts after Jay Rodriguez and Dejan Lovren had earlier given the Saints a 2-0 lead.

And Gardner says the battling qualities displayed by the Black Cats shows progress.

“It’s a big result for us,” the 27-year-old said. “Coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 shows great character and we almost went on to win the game.

“It was a great performance and we showed some real quality to pull back.

“The head coach really encourages everyone and the players all want to do well for each other.”

And, though Gardner was delighted with what he described as an “important point”, he says the players are keen to keep putting together results ahead of Wednesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg with Manchester United.

“We know we’ve still got a lot to do but it’s an important point to keep us in the mix,” Gardner added.

“We were a lot more clinical today; we kept calm and took our chances.

“Every game is a big game now, there’s the semi-final, and although we’ve got the advantage it’s going to be a very tough game at Old Trafford.

“We’ll go there knowing what we need to do and the players have got the confidence to go out and try and achieve that.”

Watch the full interview with Craig on SAFSee above.