O’Neill hails cup hero Mignolet

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MARTIN O’Neill praised Simon Mignolet for his heroics at the death which kept Sunderland in the FA Cup this afternoon, writes Graeme Anderson

But he insisted straight after the match that the Black Cats were well worth the replay they earned a week on Tuesday.

Mignolet saved from Heitinga and Jelavic a couple of minutes from time in a manner that had the Press Box reaching for its cliched Jimmy Montgomery comparisons.

And O’Neill admitted: “I’m indebted to my goalkeeper, without question – two unbelievable saves.

“The first one, I could see clearly and I thought it was in – it was just a magnificent effort from the young lad.

“I thought we were under pressure at the end.

“Everton started to win the first ball and therefore we had to defend very strongly.

“So we were indebted to Simon Mignolet’s double save – I know the first one at least was world class because I saw it but I’ve yet to see the replays of the follow-up.”

* Full reaction from O’Neill in tonight’s Football Echo – with nine pages on the big FA Cup tie.

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