Coleman gets the point – but wants more



Posted Sunday, March 04, 2018 by PA

Coleman gets the point – but wants more

Chris Coleman was pleased with the character shown by his Sunderland side – but frustrated to have to settle for a point in their 1-1 draw at Millwall.

The draw keeps the Black Cats rooted to the foot of the Sky Bet Championship table as they bid to avoid back-to-back relegations.

It started well for Sunderland when Bryan Oviedo gave the visitors the lead but they were pegged back by Shaun Hutchinson’s second half goal.

Coleman said: “I’m pleased with the character but frustrated by the result.

“It’s a really difficult place to come. If you don’t come here with your sleeves rolled up, you’re finished before you get off the bus.

“That’s three games now where we’ve had something about us. Four games ago, we’d have lost that game.

“But when you’re winning 1-0, the very thing we said not to do was what we did – invited pressure.

“It’s a little bit of a disappointment there, but at least we stood up to the test and got a point. I thought we deserved a point.”

Having suffered an early scare when Lee Cattermole hacked Jake Cooper’s header off the line, Sunderland became increasingly threatening as half-time approached.

Callum McManaman fired over from outside the area, before Oviedo opened the scoring thanks to a well-worked short corner routine. The Costa Rica international drifted towards the corner of the penalty area before dispatching a searing long-range strike that found the top right-hand corner.

Millwall had barely threatened at that stage, but the hosts produced a much-improved performance in the second half as Sunderland’s defenders dropped towards the edge of their own area.

Jason Steele made saves to deny Lee Gregory and Steve Morison, but the Lions’ pressure eventually told midway through the second half.

Sunderland’s defenders failed to clear Ben Marshall’s corner and Hutchinson reacted quickest to stab the ball towards goal. Cattermole felt he had prevented the ball crossing the line, but refereer Andy Davies – with the help of the goal decision system – awarded a goal.

Millwall boss Neil Harris said: “I thought we did enough to win, but that’s a good reality check for everyone associated with this football club. It showed that if we’re not at our best, we can come unstuck against anybody.

“I thought we started the game well but Sunderland grew into the game and scored with a really good shot.

“I thought we came really strong in the second half though, and if there was anyone who was going to win it, it was us, although maybe our composure in the box wasn’t quite as good as it could have been.

“No one within the training ground was getting above themselves, it’s just about how far we’ve come from the play-off final last year to thinking about a play-of campaign this year.”

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