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Quick Kicks: Thoughts And Reaction From Sunderland 3-4 Chelsea

It was a case of so near yet so far for Sunderland again, as the latest top side arrived at the Stadium of Light.

Paul Thomas

What The Gaffer Said

The only thing I can say is that we tried our very best to the last second, to the last option, to the last ball.

We competed to the best of our ability against an exceptional team – they had players today that are a different level and it was difficult for us to cope with but I’m sure every single fan can go home thinking at least one thing, that we tried today.

We need to maintain that and play like that all the time, if we keep believing it doesn’t matter about the result because we take risks and today we took plenty of them but we do need the points.

I would like to think that if we play like today and we fight like today and we do it in the way we done it that we should be okay by the end of the season.

It was an exceptional game of football, not the ones I like, but it was strong game of football and the fans want to see goals.

[It was] difficult, we tried everything, we changed Giacchy [Emanuele Giaccherini]to put Johnno [Adam Johnson] there to help and we tried to put Seb [Larsson] there to help Phil because he had a yellow card and needed to defend all the time.

Good players at this level find the spaces and they are always difficult to compete against, saying that, we tried and you cannot ask for more from the players.

An exceptional game of football with a great spirit from us, trying to the end.

An exceptional game indeed. In fact it's quite difficult to know where to start analysing it really.

As usual, Poyet highlights the positives, which is fine. It's also nice to see a manager actually reacting to problems and being able to identify them in the first place. I suppose though that the players who were asked to do a certain job in containing Eden Hazard just weren't up to it.

In a way you have sympathy because Hazard was sublime on the night, but you also can't help but feel that between the three or four who were asked to pin him down over the course of the night, someone would have at least presented a little resistance.


It was great to see Jozy Altidore finally grab that first Premier league goal. He had one absolutely stolen from him against Arsenal and his play has deserved so much more reward than it has received.

It was a lovely goal as well. He had strength, blistering speed on the turn, and a quality finish in his locker and a pair of very good centre halves at Chelsea couldn't deal with it.

The goal ultimately counted for nothing, but it was an important step you feel. He needed the pressure off his shoulders and now he can hopefully kick on with confidence. With the kind of home games that are to come in the new year - and make no mistake they will be the games that decide our season - a newly confident Jozy Altidore will be a massive asset.

Look Like A Team

Although this was a game that was decided by individuals, it is tough to not recognise that Sunderland are looking much more like a team of late. There is support for men on the ball and a clear system that you can buy into.

From an attitude point of view you can see renewed trust in each other and, as Poyet noted, this team tends to stay in games for the duration. That is a huge positive.

Progress is being made, and if the football gods are smiling on us, we should be getting better just as the games become easier (on paper at least!)

Nearly There!

It kind of feels that Sunderland's home campaign is yet to start really. It is incredible that, come Saturday night, we will have played all of the traditional big six of Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Spurs on home turf.

The home bogey side of Newcastle have also visited, of course.

It is noteworthy that Sunderland currently have the same amount of points and more goals from the corresponding home fixtures last season with a chance to better that haul when Tottenham visit.

Give any side in the bottom half the same set of home fixtures and they will have probably struggled similarly. The away form is the big worry, but getting this run of games out of the way this weekend will be a massive relief going forward.

The home fixtures after Spurs look like a great chance to build momentum at the key stage of the season. Keep the faith!

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