Alex Neil delivers this verdict on Sunderland's frustrating draw and how they played

Alex Neil said Sunderland’s draw at Lincoln City was a missed opportunity after watching his side fail to capitalise on a number of good openings.

Corry Evans hit the post early in the second for the Black Cats, with Jordan Wright also making an outstanding late save from Ross Stewart.

Sunderland created most of the better chances throughout but ultimately were unable to take three crucial points in the race for a play-off place.

Oxford United, Wycombe Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday all drew elsewhere, but for Neil that added to the frustration.

Sunderland were unable to turn a good performance into three points at Sincil Bank

Another clean sheet left Neil confident that his side are making considerable progress, but he knows the priority now is points.

“If you'd have given me a list of things that we needed to work through, I think we're 90% of the way there,” Neil said.

“It's those final bits, how much danger can we cause in the opposition box and today we created more than enough to win.

“Ultimately at this point I'd take a 1-0 off someone's bum having played poorly all game to give us three points.

“With the other results, you could look at it both ways. You could look at it as one place lost but I certainly see it as a missed opportunity.

“I think that's how the lads view it as well, because they know they've played well. They're gutted not to have won, and to have delivered the points for the fans who came down to support us.”

Anthony Patterson had to make one good save from substitute Liam Cullen late on, which Neil said had led him abandoning his strategy of allowing the game to run from end to end.

Aside from two headers at corner the visiting defence were rarely troubled, and the irony was not lost on Neil that their performance was in some aspects better than their two ultimately comfortable recent home wins.

“I thought it was a really good performance and we created more than enough chances to win,” Neil said.

“We limited them to very little, the only real danger they had was when the game became bit scrappy in the second half, I allowed it to flow. Initially we sort of stopped everything they did and countered off the back of it, and we should have scored.

“After they changed shape I let it drift because I wanted to become end-to-end, as that's worked in our favour recently. For that little ten minute spell it didn't, so we changed shape again and got back on top.

“It's a strange one, the performance comfortably deserves to win the game for me.

“We need to find that little bit that takes it from being a good performance to a good victory, because ultimately that's what matters at his moment in time.

“The last two performances have been criticised and we've scored five goals, our last two away performances have been very good and we've scored no goals.

“That's really frustrating for me.

“The game plan and the strategy worked, we just couldn't finish the chances.”

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor