Martin O’Neill refused to do anything other than call it as it was this afternoon, after seeing his Sunderland team come up short against the Premier League champions, writes Graeme Anderson.
There was no hunt for explanations or excuses, no submission of mitigating factors, no searching for the positives from the Black Cats’ boss after the 3-0 defeat at Manchester City.
“We were well-beaten and I have no excuses,” said the Irishman.
“It was always going to be tough, but we didn’t play too well and didn’t hold on to the ball well enough.
“On the day, we were beaten by a much better team, but we should have done better in that opening half. We gave it away too easily and City will punish you for that.
“As it was, we were still in the game coming out for the second half, but City really turned it on, especially after they got their second goal, and we were well beaten by the end.”
O’Neill had tried to be positive and every change he made after the break was aimed at improving Sunderland as an attacking force.
But City were too good for the Wearsiders and O’Neill was the first to admit it.
“We wanted to press forward in the second half, but the more we pressed forward the more we left gaps and City are one of the very best teams around in exploiting that,” he said.
“As I say, no excuses. They are a very, very good team.”
* More reaction in tonight’s Football Echo