O’Shea calls for Sunderland unity

UNITED FRONT ... John O'Shea in action against Wigan.
UNITED FRONT ... John O'Shea in action against Wigan.
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JOHN O’SHEA preached a message of unity after seeing the Stadium of Light turn on Steve Bruce.

Last-gasp defeat to bottom of the pile Wigan proved too much for Wearside on Saturday, as supporters called for the head of the Sunderland boss after a 10th home defeat of 2011.

Sunderland remain just two points above the drop zone ahead of next weekend’s trip to fourth-bottom Wolves, with only goal difference separating the Black Cats from Mick McCarthy’s men.

Defender O’Shea (pictured) said: “It is extremely difficult to take that defeat.

“Everyone has to stick together now.

“It’s Wolves away next and we will be doing everything we can to turn this round as quickly as possible because there is no other way and no point moaning about decisions even though they were crucial.

“We just have to get on with it.

“Of course we heard the chanting. We don’t want to be losing at home to a team that is absolutely struggling and you are scratching your head thinking ‘How are we not winning from the chances?’.

“It should have been 3-1 or 4-1.

“It is one of those things and hopefully it will turn for us quickly.

“You can only turn it round by sticking together and doing your stuff in training. We have the belief behind everyone at this club and we have to stick together now.”

Sunderland paid the price for not adding to Seb Larsson’s opener in a dominant opening 30 minutes.

Although O’Shea criticised referee Kevin Friend’s decision to award Wigan a spot-kick on the stroke of half-time, the 30-year-old admits Sunderland had only themselves to blame for their wastefulness in front of goal.

“We started the game exactly how we wanted, high tempo, creating chances, went a goal up and should have been two or three up after 20 minutes,” added the former Manchester United man.

“Unfortunately, we conceded a sucker blow just before half-time. You don’t want to blame decisions, but it was a massive turning point and a very soft penalty.

“Seb said he didn’t touch him and we have seen the replays and we are convinced of it as well.

“But we had enough chances to be out of sight by half-time, but that’s the name of the game in the Premier League.

“If you let teams back in, whether it’s a ref’s decision or not, teams get confidence from it and they scored at the perfect time for them.

“They were looking at being two or three down and it looked like it would be 1-0 when we came in at half-time and then after they scored they were absolutely buzzing.

“In the second half, we came out and didn’t have a high enough tempo and didn’t create as many chances as we did in the first half.

“We maybe could have got more men in to the box for the crosses when we got behind the full-backs, but everything seemed to go to their centre-backs.

“They snuffed us out well and the game looked set for a draw, but it was one of those freak things that happens. We had to swallow a bitter pill in defeat.”