Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.
MURPHY: OUR LUCK IS OUT
Luckless Daryl Murphy says Sunderland have to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and not let the disappointment of back-to-back defeats get to them.
The Black Cats dominated Saturday’s game at Norwich and could easily have won by a distance – but lost the game thanks to a 51st minute Robbie Earnshaw goal.
It was a morale-sapping defeat and the pain made worse for the Irish striker by the fact that referee Mike Riley denied him a clear penalty after a foul on him by Dion Dublin late in the game.
The striker said: “It was a definite penalty. The ball came in to me, and I chested it in front of me. I was just about to tap it in when I felt myself being pulled back.
“It caught me off balance and I fell. To be honest, I couldn’t believe the referee didn’t point to the spot. Everyone around me could see that it was a penalty but he just waved play on. Their player got away with it, but I don’t know how.
“I know referees have a tough job but when you see something like that you know it’s a penalty decision straight away. It’s not a hard decision to make.”
Sunderland also had a clear handball by Dublin rejected by Riley seconds later. Even so, Sunderland should have won the game comfortably, as Murphy admitted.
“We looked really comfortable but if you don’t get your chances that you get then you get punished and that’s what happened to us,” he said. “We created many more chances than them but they didn’t go our way and they’ve had just the one real chance and put it away.
“But there’s no point in feeling sorry for ourselves because it’s us who keep putting ourselves in this position. We’ve had back-to-back defeats and that’s disappointing.
“If there’s a consolation it’s that we’ve played a lot better than we did in the previous game against Cardiff. But whatever positives we have, we have to take them out of the game and look to build on it.
“Now we have a home game against Southampton we just have to look to win it.”
Murphy says that all talk of going up this season has to be shelved for the moment until the club picks itself up and consolidates.
He said: “There’s been talk of promotion after we’ve had good results but we have to put that behind us now and look at just building a solid position in the league. We need to get points on the board because there’s still plenty to play for and a few wins and you’re right back up there – but we have to get those wins.”
WARD SET FOR WALES CALL
Sunderland goalkeeper Darren Ward is in line for an international recall four years after he last played for Wales.
Manager John Toshack is considering including the 32-year-old in his squad for the friendly against Liechtenstein at Wrexham on November 14, although he has yet to make his mind up on his complete squad.
Worksop-born Ward last played for Wales in the 2-2 draw against Bosnia in Cardiff in February, 2003, but he lost his place in the squad after his move from Nottingham Forest to Norwich a year later.
Ward made only three senior appearances for the East Anglian club, playing second fiddle to Robert Green for most of the time, and the inactivity and lack of top-level competition set-up meant he slipped out of the Welsh set-up.
He joined Sunderland on a free transfer in the summer and was expected to play a similarly anonymous role as understudy to emerging England youth keeper Ben Alnwick.
But Alnwick has turned in several unconvincing performances and new boss Roy Keane has brought Ward into the Championship side over the last month. Ward, who has five caps has now played the last five games for Sunderland keeping two clean sheets along the way.