Gary Rowell column - Two points from three tough games is foundation for Sunderland

Jordi Gomez
Jordi Gomez
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GUS Poyet rang the changes for the game against Liverpool and it very nearly paid off.

Poyet obviously wanted to freshen up the tired team that finished against Manchester City, and the draw they achieved at Anfield was fully deserved.

Liverpool are nowhere near the team that were so close to winning the title last season, but they still have quality players who on their day can do damage.

But Saturday was not their day and Sunderland, who were organised and defended well, limited them to long-range efforts which rarely threatened Costel Pantilimon.

It was only the introduction of Steven Gerrard for the last 25 minutes that lifted a below-par Liverpool, but even he couldn’t inspire them to win the game.

I thought Wes Brown had the best chance of the match when he had a free header from Larsson’s corner, but sent it over the bar when he should have scored. What a boost that would have been right on the stroke of half-time.

As it was, this was as comfortable a game as I’ve seen Sunderland have at Anfield for years and maybe with a bit more belief, we could have taken three points.

Poyet had mixed feelings afterwards when he said he was happy with the point, but that we lost a great chance to do something that doesn’t happen too often by winning at Anfield. He was right.

That was our fifth goalless draw of the season, so no-one is going to give us the tag of the great entertainers.

But a clean sheet away to Liverpool shouldn’t be dismissed.

Sunderland have just finished a difficult sequence of games against last season’s top three teams and although they didn’t manage a win, at least in two of them they didn’t concede and that’s definitely something to build on.