NEW dad Seb Larsson believes the Sunderland side of 12 months ago would have come away empty-handed from West Brom.
Swedish international Larsson, whose thumb-sucking goal celebration marked his wife giving birth to a baby girl last week, admitted Gus Poyet’s side remain a work in progress.
But Larsson says Sunderland’s character in battling back to earn a share of the spoils shows that there is a greater mental strength around the Black Cats these days, compared to the side who spent eight months of last season confined to the relegation zone.
“In the early part of last season, we wouldn’t have come back from that,” said Larsson.
“To get something was OK, but not more than OK.
“I think the main thing is there’s things to build on, particularly in the second half.
“But the big difference from last year is that we could have lost that game three or 4-1.
“We came back, got a point and can move on to next week.
“Away games in the Premier League are never easy.
“If you look at it that way, it’s not a bad start, especially considering some of the starts we’ve had in recent years.”
Larsson realises though that Sunderland need to iron out the teething problems after there were precious few signs of Poyet’s possession-based philosophy, following Lee Cattermole’s early opener at The Hawthorns.
“You’ve got to be half-satisfied with a point,” added the 29-year-old.
“But with the way we played in the first half, we were massively disappointed at half-time.
“We sat back, gave them the initiative and when we got the ball, we didn’t do anything with it.
“The manager told us that at half-time.
“I think we improved quite a bit in the second half, but then we obviously conceded a sloppy goal and it’s uphill from there.
“When you let the opposition have the ball as much as they did, whether they create chances or not, eventually something is going to come of it.
“We’re disappointed with that, but there’s signs we’re moving in the right direction.
“Quite a few of the lads haven’t been together long at all.
“We’ll build on this point.”