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Liverpool Defeat Shouldn't Distract Us From The Task At Hand

Whenever Sunderland come away from a game without any points it's hugely frustrating, but today I strangely feel positive about our chances going forward from now.

Liverpool v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Lets not kid ourselves, it's never nice seeing your team lose. Regardless of whether its against Liverpool or Middlesbrough, it still hurts - for a while at least.

Before the game today I doubt you'll have found many of our supporters that were confident of us getting a win at Anfield - had we managed such a feat it would have been the first by a Sunderland side since a sole Gary Rowell strike sank the Merseysiders back in 1983.

Pre-match my heart was telling me that we would get a draw. And, to be fair, for a long period we looked capable of it. Going into half time we looked relatively assured and through our resilient defending we had managed to frustrate the Liverpool fans to the point where Jurgen Klopp felt the need to rampage up and down his touchline to get the home crowd back on side - I've not seen him or their support rattled like that all season.

Ultimately, though, we were undone by a moment of brilliance from Divock Origi. Whilst some might claim that his goal was intended as a cross, he did well to put the ball into an incredibly dangerous area and made us pay. There was very little that could have been done about it.

The penalty decision was the correct one but the game was over by that point and the events that led to James Milner's spot-kick shouldn't be a negative reflection upon how Jason Denayer and Didier Ndong had played - both men did their jobs well and seem to be growing in confidence with each passing game, which can only be of benefit to us.

I've seen people lining up to stick the boot into Duncan Watmore, which I find baffling - admittedly he fluffed the one half-decent chance that he had in front of goal but other than that he was left to feed off scraps and, if nothing else, worked incredibly hard. He was fantastic down at Bournemouth and did just as well last weekend against Hull - lets not use today's result as an excuse to berate him further.

Similarly, some people have chosen to isolate and criticise Didier Ndong, another player that I felt did well today in what was a tough game.

My issue with giving pelters to Ndong and Watmore is that despite both of them being incredibly inexperienced and young, neither of them can be accused of hiding or shirking from their responsibilities. They both work their nuts off and this, bizarrely, seems to make them an easy target for abuse - maybe they'd be better off not putting themselves about in order to go about their business unnoticed.

All in all we shouldn't take the defeat too personally.

The Leicester match at the Stadium of Light next week is huge - they haven't won any of their last four league games, and three of those were against sides similar in quality to ourselves. This is a much more important and winnable fixture, and losing today should at least give us hope that this Sunderland side are making baby steps in the right direction.

It could be worse - imagine being a Crystal Palace fan right now. They were winning until injury time and ended up losing the game, their sixth successive defeat. Now there's a side lacking in forward momentum!

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