MARTIN O’Neill admitted his frustration at The Hawthorns in the wake of another game where Sunderland might have got something, only to leave empty-handed again.
For Reading and Arsenal, read West Brom now, and the Sunderland manager knows that his team rapidly need to turn these near-misses into hits with the club not out of relegation danger yet.
“It was a case of so near so far and I’m really disappointed,” sighed the Black Cats’ boss after yesterday’s 2-1 defeat.
“It is the third game now where we’ve got nothing out of a game when we really should have got something.
“At Reading, we went from almost winning it in the dying minutes to losing it and we poured unbelievable pressure on Arsenal in the last half hour of our game against them but couldn’t get the ball to go in.
“So it has been disappointing in our previous couple of games, but that is particularly the case against West Brom, though.
“We had a number of good chances in the match against them and I thought we performed very well, but it just wasn’t to be.”
As O’Neill analysed the game, he became more and more bemused that Sunderland had come away without at least a point.
“We started off brightly and created a number of really good chances away from home – including hitting the post,” he observed.
“We were the better side.
“The penalty gave them a lift, but we started back into them again in the second half and we really took the game to them before Lukaku’s bizarre second goal.
“But even then we got back into it through Stephane Sessegnon and really should have had two or three more goals before the final whistle.”
O’Neill also felt the officials did Sunderland no favours either.
He said: “I thought the Craig Gardner penalty was harsh initially, but I’ve seen the replay and I’ve got no complaints.
“Where I am disappointed, though, is that there’s an identical hand-ball with Gareth McAuley at the other end of the pitch and that is not given.
“In my view, that was a clear-cut penalty and should have been given to us and that’s one of the frustrations.
“Things just didn’t go for us on the day.”
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