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Mannone: Humiliated Players Should Pay For Sunderland Fans' Trip

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Should Sunderland's players reimburse fans for Southampton mauling?

Steve Bardens

Vito Mannone insists it is the Sunderland players who should foot the bill for the 2,549 Black Cats fans who supported the club at Southampton, admitting he and his colleagues "did not work hard".

It was a startling admission, and one you don't see often. The Italian, who saw his goal breached eight times at St Mary's, said:

I will personally talk to the team to see if it is possible to pay for their tickets and their trip.

I really mean that we should pay their tickets and travel. I will do everything possible. We should do it because we didn't put a foot in, we didn't work hard. We started the game well but after we conceded we threw in the towel and I include myself.

They are special fans. We are really lucky to be at this club and have these fans. If it was me, I would probably not react in the same way.

There really is nothing to add to this. It's a commendable sentiment, and a very welcome one that hints at some genuine remorse. However, if Sunderland's players want to really do something for the fans, a little fight on the football pitch goes a considerably longer way than a lot of words off it.