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Quick Kicks: Gav's Thoughts On SCFC 1 - 1 SAFC

One of Sunderland's worst performances since the end of the January transfer window almost ended in tears but, with Jermain Defoe the saviour once again, survival is just about in our hands. Just.

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What The Gaffer Said

Sam Allardyce must have been the most relieved man in the country when we were awarded a penalty late in the game against Stoke on Saturday - quite frankly, we were awful.

Jermain's goal has got us a very precious point.

It was a lovely piece of skill from him. I don't think anyone can argue that it wasn't a blatant penalty that stopped him getting through on goal.

We have some very big games coming up.

We were in the position where we had to change the shape of the team because we weren't playing as well as we can do.

In the end we got a little better in possession, got at Stoke and got ourselves a draw.

It wasn't our best performance by a long way, but in the end we've got a precious point.

Defensively we have been very resilient. In possession we weren't as good as we have been and hopefully we will be better against Chelsea.

There's no comeback for the opposition when you score in the 93rd minute. When you get that goal that gets you a point you have to be satisfied.


Sam is right - we can't not be happy with a point when you analyse the way the game went for us. We were as bad as we have been all season and that goal from Jermain Defoe in extra time has thrown us yet another lifeline.

Performance Feels Like A Real Setback

Having played well for a number of weeks now we saw the ugly side of Sunderland at the weekend, and it was perhaps a timely reminder that we aren't anywhere near as good as we maybe thought we are - I certainly feel that way anyways, especially having praised our squad to the hilt in recent weeks.

We looked lost at the back for their goal, which really should have been better dealt with. You can argue perhaps that Peter Crouch fouled Younes Kaboul in the build up but the way that Lamine Kone was beaten to the ball by Arnautovic was uncharacteristic of the Ivorian - I'm sure he'll bounce back.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing for me was the way we played without urgency. Having gone a goal down, nothing seemed to go our way and every pass seemed overhit; every shot tame.

It just wasn't a good day at the office and we have to write it off as just one of those things.

Though It's In Our Hands, We Hang By A Thread

We have to deliver now against Chelsea. That game in hand in Everton might well be our golden ticket but we can't look too far ahead. Newcastle are collecting points at an alarming rate and in order to survive we are going to have to at least keep pace with them.

You have to imagine that Newcastle will beat Aston Villa, given the way both teams are playing right now. They have a tough home game against Spurs after that but, by that point, Tottenham could have nothing left to play for. I guess we'll find out tonight.

I fancy Newcastle to collect at least four points from those two games, which means we need to win two more at least. Anyone else feeling like this might go down to the last day?

Urgh. I feel sick.

Dame N'Doye...

I've seen this fella play in ten games for us this season, and I'm still yet to see the benefit of his inclusion in our match day squad. He came on at the weekend, and added literally nothing.

Was he really a better option than Borini or Khazri for that final thirty minutes?

Jeremain Lens can't even make the squad, so I won't bring him into question - I think we can make up our own assumptions about what his relationship with the manager is.

N'Doye, though... he is just awful. If I've got anything to look forward to beyond this season, it's the fact I don't have to watch him play for Sunderland anymore.