Simon Mignolet’s so solid crew

Simon Mignolet.
Simon Mignolet.
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SIMON Mignolet admits Sunderland’s goalless draw with Spurs was his most subdued outing of the season.

Black Cats stopper Mignolet was barely tested in Saturday’s encounter as he notched his sixth clean sheet in 14 Premier League games since returning to the starting XI on New Year’s Day after two months on the sidelines with facial injuries.

Although Sunderland were similarly unable to test Spurs keeper Brad Friedel, Mignolet hailed the defensive effort produced by the Black Cats as they registered a second successive draw against top-four opposition.

“We have done great in the last two games and got two good results,” said the Belgian. “It was probably the quietest game I have had all season.

“We are very happy. The defence did their job again. They did what they had to do. We can’t be more happy than that.

“You don’t think of it in terms of the attacking players you are up against, but Tottenham are a big team so you expect them to create chances.

“I only had one save to make and it wasn’t really a save. Apart from that, I took two crosses.

“I am quite pleased with that. Hopefully we can play a lot more games like that.”

Mignolet enjoyed some stellar protection from those in front of him, most notably central defensive duo Michael Turner and Matt Kilgallon, who again worked well in tandem.

With John O’Shea, Wes Brown and Titus Bramble all out injured, the duo have made light of Martin O’Neill’s threadbare options at the heart of the back four.

But Mignolet believes those further up the park deserve credit for Sunderland’s clean sheet, too, with the Black Cats working tirelessly as a defensive unit.

Mignolet added: “There’s big competition in the squad. When everyone is fit, we have a very decent team. That’s very important.

“When someone gets injured, somebody else steps in and does a good job. Matthew and Turner have done that.

“You can only be pleased with the manner in which they have responded when they have been asked to play.

“It is not only the defenders that are doing well. The whole team is doing very well. If they can keep the ball further forward, it makes the job of defending a lot easier.”

@youngsunecho