Vito Mannone was relieved to see his Sunderland side finally put together a cohesive defensive display as they landed a valuable point against Tottenham.
Many had expected the Italian to have a busy night against the high-flying visitors but in truth he had little to do, his most notable moment coming when he pushed a firm effort from Victor Wanyama around the post in the first half.
The 28-year-old said that was a validation of the Black Cats gameplan to try and keep Spurs from working the ball into the Sunderland box.
Mannone said: “It was a deserved point, we finally defended as a team, as a unit. We matched them with five defenders and tried to just give them crosses and shots from outside the box. At the end of the day it’s a good point, it’s a base for us now. To try and defend this way, keep clean sheets, then get a few chances.”
Sunderland might well have landed all three points, too, had Fabio Borini found the net with a priceless opportunity in the first half.
The Italian found the ball fell at his feet after a deflection, but he could only shoot straight at stand-in goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Mannone has called on his team-mates to repeat that level of performance.
He said: “I thought in the first half in we could nick it, JD and Fabio had two or three chances. Now we have to repeat this performance every game, starting with Crystal Palace.”