Thursday 26 April 2018

Sam Allardyce salutes Sunderland's resilience in Bournemouth draw

Sam Allardyce's side had to battle back to earn a point
Sam Allardyce's side had to battle back to earn a point

Sam Allardyce saluted Sunderland's resilience after seeing them bounce back to snatch the first draw of his reign against Bournemouth.

The Black Cats started dreadfully and deservedly trailed to record signing Benik Afobe's 13th-minute header, and had it not been for keeper Vito Mannone - who would not have been happy with his attempt to keep out the £10million man's effort - they might have been further in arrears.

However, they fought back to level in first-half stoppage time through Patrick van Aanholt and might have collected all three points had keeper Artur Boruc not managed to repel Billy Jones' second-half header and secure a 1-1 draw.

A relieved Allardyce said: "We didn't play well for 20 minutes - we played very poorly for 20 minutes, maybe 25 minutes, after they scored and Vito kept us in the game at that stage.

"The good thing from my point of view is that I have seen us go under at that stage so many times since I have been here, but we stayed in it and because we stayed in it, it allowed us to play our way back into the game, gladly.

"It was a fantastic time to score a goal and it lifted us and in the second half, anybody could have won it. It was end-to-end, either side could have won it.

"We thought we'd got the goal. When Billy headed the ball, I thought, 'That's going to be in'. Good save and it wasn't to be for the three points, but it's our first point gained coming from behind."

The draw leaves Sunderland in 19th place and three points adrift of safety, and Bournemouth 15th, four points clear of the drop zone.

It was also their first draw in 16 outings since Allardyce replaced Dick Advocaat, although he insisted that was not his target for the day.

He said: "I wasn't craving a draw - well, I was craving a draw after 25 minutes, I must admit. But when we played our way back into the game, like I said, I was really pleased about the recovery."

If Allardyce was happy enough with a point, opposite number Eddie Howe certainly was not.

Asked if it was two points dropped, he said: "After the first half, absolutely, yes. From watching, I felt we were in total control and doing everything we hoped to do, passing the ball very well.

"The only disappointment really is we didn't create more chances in that spell and have the clinical aspect to our game where we go on and make it two or three, which I felt our dominance deserved.

"But at 1-0, there's always that window that you can have one lapse of concentration and it can cost you, and that's obviously eventually what happened. The disappointing thing from our perspective is the timing of the goal as well."

Howe was also left keeping his fingers crossed over midfielder junior Stanislas, who suffered a knee injury late in the game.

He said: "He's got a twist to his knee. It doesn't look good, it looks like maybe a medial ligament strain. You saw him being carried off the pitch and it didn't look good and he's quite sore in the changing room, so we will see how serious it is."

Meanwhile, Howe revealed striker Lee Tomlin would be the subject of an internal disciplinary procedure after taking to social media to express his frustration at his lack of first-team opportunities.

He said: "We will be dealing with the matter internally. Lee is obviously frustrated he is not featuring more regularly. It's not a huge issue for me, but you'd prefer him to keep his frustrations in-house and that's something we will be looking to deal with to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Press Association

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