Fabio Borini today admitted to experiencing mixed emotions after getting back on the goal trail.
The forward did just what boss David Moyes had asked of him by adding his name to a short list of Sunderland scorers in the Premier League.
A goal always brings other goals and confidence, so hopefully I’ll get another one on the 31st at BurnleyFABIO BORINI
Borini left home keeper David de Gea clutching at thin air when he fired home a last-minute volley in the 3-1 defeat at Manchester United.
Before Boxing Day, only Jermain Defoe (eight) and Victor Anichebe and Patrick van Aanholt had found the net in the Premier League.
The Italian took some comfort in the strike in his third – and best – appearance since coming back from a thigh problem, but conceded he’d have preferred it to count for something.
“It was good personally to get a goal after a long time out through injury,” said the former Liverpool frontman.
“But what counts is the result and we lost – probably by an unfair margin.
“I’m not sure we deserved to lose 3-1, and that’s why there’s a bit of disappointment about the result.
“It’s a positive, but it’s still a disappointment when goals like that ultimately count for almost nothing.
“I always try to score in every game. I have played in a few games now and scored one goal, so it’s OK after an injury.
“A goal always brings other goals and confidence, so hopefully I’ll get another one on the 31st at Burnley.”
The sharpness appears to be returning to the energetic attacker.
Borini had a deflected effort saved by United keeper de Gea and he could have had another when the ball looked like falling to him in the first half when the game was goalless after the keeper had blocked from Anichebe.
However, de Gea denied him with some good footwork when the home net appeared in real danger.
“De Gea just touched it a fraction before I hit the ball and it was a little bit unlucky,” said Borini.
“Those are the chances that, on another day, with a bit more luck, might have gone for us.”
As it was, the Black Cats conceded goals to Daley Blind before the break and then late on to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Overall, Sunderland played well but Borini said there was frustration at the final result as David Moyes’ men fell two points from the safety line ahead of the crucial New Year’s eve trip to Burnley.
“We kept the ball well and in spells we created a few chances, but Man United is a difficult place to come and play,” added Borini.
“And against this team you can’t allow yourself to come and make those mistakes.
“We let ourselves down with the [second] goal and we always concede late goals.
“We were doing al lright until the second goal – but that’s football against big teams, they punish you straight away.
“We lost so you can’t really say our performance was a positive.
“There are parts that were positive, but throughout the 90 minutes we shouldn’t have made those mistakes.
“If we hadn’t mistakes ourselves, maybe it would still have been 1-0 and my goal would have given us the draw.
“But ‘ifs’ don’t take you anywhere, so we just have to look to the next game and that is the most important for now.”