Stadium of Light

Next Game

S'land v Burnley

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Stadium of Light

Last Game

S'land 0 - 0 Fulham

Saturday, 24 January 2015, 15:00

The FA Cup Fourth Round

O'Neill: Players up for fight

Martin O'Neill says Sunderland will look to respond positively to a 1-0 defeat by Manchester United and battle their way to Premier League survival.

Last Updated: 31/03/13 at 21:00 Post Comment

The Black Cats saw their winless run stretched to eight games on Saturday as an own goal from Titus Bramble handed table-topping United all three points at the Stadium of Light.

Another setback leaves O'Neill's side precariously perched just above the drop zone, but he is confident that his players can steer a course to safety.

He told Sky Sports: "Confidence is a major thing in the game and we are striving for it, but I thought the players can take a great deal of confidence from that second-half performance.

"We have to go and put it right, and we intend to do so. There is a determination in that dressing room to get the points. Nothing is too easy in this game, but we are up for the challenge."

O'Neill concedes that Sunderland started slowly against United, which ultimately cost them dear, but feels the manner in which they responded after the break 'bodes well'.

He added: "I thought we were tentative in the first half, a little bit nervous, a bit wary of the quality of the opposition. I thought we maybe gave them a little bit too much room.

"I thought in the second half we started the game and we put absolutely everything into the match, everything we had. It certainly wasn't through a lack of effort, but Manchester United are a very fine side. The second half, I was very pleased with the team indeed.

"I would have liked us to have done better in the first half. It's very hard to keep a performance level like that, but we did in the second half.

"It's difficult to keep that intensity up for 90 minutes against anyone, never mind the best side in the league. If we had been a little bit less tentative to begin with, that might have borne some fruit. That said, I was delighted with the effort of the team and it bodes well."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he thing is, footballers are role models, and children are influenced by them. I watched the Chelsea game with my 6 year old, and at school the next day she stamped on Emre Can.

megabrow (cufc)
Diego Costa: The Patron Saint Of S**thousery

Y

et again Barcelona try to convince the world that they only play the most virtuous of football. I've never seen a team so willing and able to dish out lumps but feel so self-righteous that no opposition player should ever have the audacity to tackle them.

charsmatcengma
Enrique hauls Neymar to safety

I

d love to see a United v Liverpool FA cup final. It would certainly fit the narrative. Obv I'd want the ending to be one of an O.G. and tears as he collects his runner-up medal.

GVMUFC
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

Transfer news: Paul Pogba will leave Juventus in next 18 months, says agent

Paul Pogba's agent expects the French midfielder to leave Juventus at some stage in the next two seasons.

Liverpool: Mario Balotelli 'wll stick with Reds' says his agent

Mario Balotelli hasn't got off to the best of starts at Liverpool but he is hopeful of turning things around at Anfield.

Eden Hazard: 'Chelsea need Diego Costa'

Eden Hazard admits Chelsea 'need' Diego Costa as he faces a three-match ban for a stamp on Emre Can on Tuesday night.

Mail Box

But Biting Doesn't Hurt Like Stamping...

There are Liverpool fans arguing that Luis Suarez is nowhere near Diego Costa's sh*t-house league but we have plenty of love for the agitator too. Oh and Spurs...

Erm... Balotelli To QPR..?

It's an afternoon Mailbox that offers the reaction to the reaction, with a defence for Diego Costa offered, and Balotelli mooted to move to QPR. Plus a silly idea about the Mails...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company