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Larsson left frustrated – like so ‘many times before’ – with Sunderland flop

Connor Wickham sends in a header, only to see it cleared off the QPR line. Picture by Kevin Brady
Connor Wickham sends in a header, only to see it cleared off the QPR line. Picture by Kevin Brady
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SEB LARSSON says Sunderland’s players have to look at themselves in the mirror after blowing the chance to create some breathing space with the relegation zone.

QPR’s run of 11 successive away defeats this season came to a halt at the Stadium of Light last night, as Sunderland slumped to a 2-0 defeat to fall to a precarious two points above the relegation zone.

Sunderland had been in a positive frame of mind after four points from the previous two Premier League outings, along with progression into the FA Cup fifth round.

But, after a woeful opening 30 minutes, Sunderland’s upturn in fortunes came to an abrupt halt against managerless QPR, with midfielder Larsson admitting it’s a pattern he has seen too often during his three-and-a-half years at the Stadium of Light.

Larsson told the Echo: “You can never take anything for granted in this game and we’ve experienced that many times before.

“I think the most frustrating thing is we felt like we were on the up, we felt like we were moving in the right direction.

“It’s a game we shouldn’t have lost, but we did, so we can only blame ourselves.

“It was down to us players on the pitch and we didn’t do enough.

“I’ve been here long enough to know that we tend to do these things at times and we need to figure out why because it shouldn’t keep happening.”

Larsson conceded Sunderland’s abject start to the game was the root cause of the defeat, with Gus Poyet’s men repeatedly surrendering possession and barely emerging from their own half.

QPR duly took the lead on the road for the first time this season through midfielder Leroy Fer and despite Jermain Defoe and Connor Wickham both going close to an equaliser, the visitors doubled their advantage, with Bobby Zamore netting in first-half stoppage time.

“We paid the price for a shocking start to the game,” added the Swedish international.

“For some reason, we started the game poorly, conceded a sloppy goal.

“We got ourselves going somewhat towards the end of the first half, couldn’t get the equaliser and it was obviously a massive blow when they scored the second.

“We tried, huffed and puffed in the second half, but ultimately paid for a very poor start.

“To go 2-0 down was tough, but, at half-time, we still felt if we could get ourselves going, we’d have every chance to get back on level terms. It wasn’t to be.

“If you’re going to have one of those nights when it won’t go in for you, you come away with a 0-0 and a point.”