Sunderland drop from good standards we had been showing says star
Billy Jones admits Sunderland were as disappointed with their display as they were with the result which sent them back to the bottom of the Premier League.
The Black Cats saw their recent good form evaporate as they lost their basement battle 3-0 at relegation rivals Swansea City.
After a sequence of three wins in four matches, David Moyes’s side knew a victory at the Liberty Stadium would lift them out of the drop zone.
However, four minutes of second-half madness would prove catastrophic, conceding a penalty, thumped past Jordan Pickford by Gylfi Sigurdsson, whose low corner was tucked away by Fernando Llorente.
With over half an hour left, there was still time for the Cats to claw something back, but a second from the Spanish striker 10 minutes from time put the seal on the win for Bob Bradley’s Swans who leapfrogged the Cats.
“We’re disappointed with the way we lost the game,” said the right-back who was at the forefront of some of the side’s best attacking moves.
“In the first half we showed some of the good stuff we have played in recent games.
“We’d spoken before the game about the standards we had set in the run of three wins out of four and trying to maintain that same level of consistency.
“We made a poor start to the second half and once they scored that first goal, we never got back into it, obviously followed by that quick second.
“We’re really disappointed.”
Sunderland had enjoyed the better of the play in the first half, Jermain Defoe fizzing a shot just over after being found by Victor Anichebe from Pickford’s great long pass.
It was the same soon after the break, Pickford launching the move which saw Patrick van Aanholt set up Defoe who curled his shot wide.
Seconds later came the turning point, the penalty for handball against Jason Denayer, which precipitated the away collapse.
“Obviously you go into the second half knowing it’s a big game for them at home and hoping to frustrate them like we did in the first half, at least to start with and maybe then they would have to take more chances and the gaps might open up,” said Jones.
“At 1-0 we were still in with a chance and if we’d kept it at that, I’m sure we’d have got some more chances.
“But to concede quickly and in the manner we did was disappointing.”
Even at 2-0 all was not lost, especially given the rate at which the Swans had been conceding goals.
Moyes was even readying sub Fabio Borini to come on for a last throw of the dice.
“That was the general feeling on the pitch, you hope you can get that goal [to make it 2-1] and it gets the crowd nervy and try to exploit that,” added Jones. “So to then concede the third was really disappointing.
“You don’t want to be coming to a team down there with us at the bottom and losing 3-0 is not good.
“We are really upset with that given the form we have shown in recent games.”
Sunderland have an immediate chance to bounce back, even if Wednesday night’s match at the Stadium of Light is against Chelsea.
Jones says the Black Cats are not writing off the match against the leaders.
“It’s a massive game,” he said. “They are in really good form at the moment, they are a great team with great individuals.
“But it’s a brilliant chance for us to show the level we had previously been showing, that we have the teamwork and ethos to get the results we need.”