Sunderland boss O’Neill happy with Swansea point

Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill
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BOSS Martin O’Neill admitted that Sunderland were happy to head away from the Liberty Stadium with a point – despite having twice led on Saturday.

Normally a manager would have been disappointed not to win after twice taking the lead – even more so if the opposition had been reduced to 10 men for the last 20 minutes.

But the Sunderland boss recognised that in-form Swansea were almost too hot to handle on a day when many of his own players laboured.

“It was a game which seemed to have everything and, overall, Swansea played very, very well,” he said.

“They seem to have taken up where they left off before their change of manager and I think they’ll have a good season.

“They were really excellent.

“The crowd get behind them really well and they held on to the ball really well, especially in the last 20 minutes when they were a man down.”

O’Neill is happy with his side’s two away Premier League performances, both drawn.

He said: “We’ve had two tough games – against Arsenal and Swansea – two teams who can pass you to death if you let them.

“So I’m satisfied with the points.

“And if we ever get back to play at the Stadium of Light again, we have to look to build on it by getting all three!”

Though O’Neill knew a draw was a good result against a classy Swansea side, he did feel aggrieved that his own players did not bring their best game to the table.

“I felt that, in the second half, we surrendered the initiative by giving the ball away cheaply when we had possession,” he said.

“It allowed them to build up momentum and get an equaliser, which I felt was deserved.

“Swansea played well, but my one big disappointment was that when he had the last 20 minutes with a man advantage we didn’t make it count.

“We have some very attacking players, but we weren’t able to put their goal under pressure. When they went down to 10 men, they kept possession of the ball very well indeed. They knocked it around and played it well.

“But we should have taken a bit more care of the ball ourselves when we had it, because we’ve got good enough players.

“I’m not going to be too tough on them though – we’ve got two away points from two difficult teams to face.”

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