Gaffer Takes Positives As Cats Claw Back Point

Laurence Griffiths

Sunderland have become experts in taking positives rather than points this season. On this occasion, though, we can probably let them off.

Gus Poyet was left a little bemused at Sunderland's latest epic but was happy to take the positives from another spirited display.

The former-Brighton boss watched in stunned confusion - as did we all - at just how wretchedly bad his side performed in the early stages of the game. Southampton took full advantage by racing into a pretty easy 2-0 lead, but goals from Fabio Borini and Adam Johnson salvaged a point for Poyet's battling Black Cats.

It was difficult to know whether it was a very good point earned or a very big opportunity badly missed. It was both, of course, but that is Sunderland in a nutshell, isn't it? 1000 philosophers working for a 1000 years couldn't figure out this football club. Although, to be fair, philosophers don't really do much of anything. I digress.

Anyway, ignore me. Here is what Poyet had to say about the game:

[It's a] very good point. Realistically it was looking bad - really bad. Nothing was right for us so at that time if you said to me 'you'll get a point from the game' I would have taken it for sure.

A couple of times we were in a good position, won it back, and then couldn't pass it two yards. For half an hour we were second best.

The good news is the other side. If this was my first game we probably would have lost four or five nil.

That's the part I want to take, because nothing worked for us in the beginning. Nothing, not one bit. No organisation, no system, no quality on the ball, no understanding of the game, no 50/50s, no second balls, nothing. Absolutely nothing.

So let's take the positives. We are in this position for a reason so we aren't going to hide now. We are not going to win every game, so we'll take the point.

Whether you allow the atrocious start of the spirited recovery to define this game for Sunderland probably depends on whether you're a glass half full or half empty kind of person.

You have to give plenty of credit to Southampton too, though. They were excellent. A really well-drilled side who played some cracking football when allowed to. I suppose, in many ways, they are the blueprint for Sunderland to follow.

Poyet did reserve special praise for substitutes Craig Gardner and Jack Colback adding:

Without any doubt today the subs changed the game for us. They were especially very aggressive. They took their chance well so I'm very pleased for them.

Sunderland have now lost just once in their last ten games, and with a huge League Cup semi final next up it was important to maintain the momentum to some degree.

There is a lot to be said for getting something from a game when you play badly. There is even more to be said playing well, though. All in all, it should probably be considered a good point against a very good side. Onwards and upwards.

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