SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Players accept Keane’s criticism

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.


Keane blast was spot on, says Edwards

Sunderland could blow their promotion chances if they don’t toughen up at the back, says Carlos Edwards.

Boss Roy Keane was fuming after his side squandered what was looking like a comfortable 3-0 lead at Sheffield Wednesday, allowing the Owls to get two goals back.

Edwards’ debut goal for the Black Cats settled late nerves for a 4-2 win but it didn’t spare the players a blast from their seething manager.

The winger said: “It’s the first time I’ve seen that side of him. He was right to be upset and the players were upset. I would rather I did not score and we came away with a 3-0 win.

“I knew coming of the pitch that the gaffer would not be happy. Not many teams score four goals away from home and leave the ground without a smile on their faces.

“But we know the standards the gaffer expects.

“We want promotion, ideally in the top two, but it could be damaging if we keep conceding goals like that – it could be our downfall.”

There looked like being only one winner as Dwight Yorke and Toby Hysen sent the Wearsiders into a two-goal first-half lead before Dave Connollly made it three with his seventh goal in 12 games. But Sunderland switched off and strikes from Chris Brunt on 81 minutes and Wade Small six minutes later gave the home side hope.

Edwards quickly restored the two-goal buffer. He said: “We’re happy with the three points, but at the same time there were a lot of negatives from the game. We were comfortable at 3-0 so we can’t be happy that it finished 4-2.

“The gaffer has the right to show his nice or nasty side. You can see why he’s upset because from 3-0 we could have ended up 3-3. There was a bit of clumsy defending or lack of communication perhaps. Our keeper had not had any saves to make and then they got two goals.

“We have two weeks until the next game and we have to go to the training ground and try to sort that out.”

With Sunderland out of the FA Cup, Keane has plans to take his players on an orienteering course.

But with the mood he was in after Saturday’s performance, Edwards admitted: “Perhaps he’ll send us out into the woods and tell us to find our way back without a compass!”


Winger Toby Hysen confessed that Sunderland manager Roy Keane was right to blast his side – despite Saturday’s 4-2 Championship win at Sheffield Wednesday.

Hysen was among the marksmen as the Black Cats maintained their upward momentum, to slide into seventh place – level on points with sixth.

But Keane was an angry man after the Wearsiders’ 3-0 lead was cut to 3-2 in the final ten minutes before Carlos Edwards sealed victory at the death.

And the manager – determined to take Sunderland up in his first season in charge – told his men that he expects better 90-minute performances in the remainder of the campaign.

Hysen admitted: “He’s right. We have got to look at the things we can improve.

“Had we kept a clean sheet, he would have been happy, but to give away two goals like we did could have been very bad for us.

“Had they got a third goal, then it would have been a disaster in a match we controlled for 80 minutes.

“He was upset about it and he told us.”

Hysen grabbed his second goal of 2007 to double Sunderland’s lead right on half-time, and he is determined to make the most of his run in the team.

The August arrival from Swedish club Djurgardens is willing to give his all to the cause, with an attitude which would go down well with Keane.

Hysen added. “He is making sure we don’t kid ourselves. We have to kill games off and he expects a good performance and 100 per cent workrate.

“If he gets that, the results will take care of themselves.

“He feels we are good enough that if we do the basics, we will win the games.

“That’s what we didn’t do in the final stages, and we lost the momentum and gave them a chance they should not have had.

“We always seem to put ourselves in trouble and we’re disappointed with some parts of the game.

“In the end, it was not the best game, but it was still four goals and three points.”

Victory at Hillsborough brought Sunderland’s best goal tally since the 5-1 demolition of Plymouth in March, 2005 – with the Black Cats on the way to the title. It was also their first four-goal away performance since Marcus Stewart’s hat-trick inspired a 4-0 win at Gillingham in September, 2004.