Date: 13th December 2009 at 12:43pm
Written by: Gary Johnson

Steve Bruce will be wondering if his players have lost their ability rather than not showing the right mentality after they conceded a late goal to draw against bottom side Portsmouth yesterday afternoon. Sunderland were hot favourites to beat Pompey after they lost two on the road against Wigan and Fulham.

Bruce changed his team with Campbell starting on the right side of midfield and Da Silva partnered Turner in the middle of defence. Nosworthy and McCartney occupied the full back positions as Sunderland looked to extend their recent unbeaten in seven at home record.

We started the game very positively and created many chances after some good spells of attacking football but we failed to continue this performance into the second half. Sunderland took the lead after a brilliant bit of skill by Jordan Henderson beat Wilson with a superb ‘nutmeg’ before crossing deep to find Andy Reid. Reid volleyed back across the goal to find an un-marked Bent who blasted past David James to claim his tenth goal of the campaign.

This was exactly what Sunderland needed, an early goal and then look to build on this to see the game off and condemn Pompey to another defeat of the season. However, the old Sunderland came back to haunt the new manager as we came out in the second half a completely different team.

We never showed any attacking options and we allowed Pompey back into the game with set pieces, corners and chances all falling to the basement club. Sunderland finally cracked in the 93rd minute of injury time as Nosworthy lost possession easily, which led to their corner that was cleared. The second corner that followed fell to Kaboul to stab home to send their fans onto the picth and earn Kaboul his second booking for his over excitement.

Bruce will be fuming with his players for not hanging on but will also need to take a look at his tactics and substitutions as we did not go for the crucial second goal.

Player Ratings

Marton Fulop
Nyron Nosworthy
George McCartney
Paulo Da Silva
Michael Turner
Lorik Cana
Fraizer Campbell
Jordan Henderson
Kenwyne Jones
Darren Bent
Andy Reid

Manager Rating
Steve Bruce – 5

He had a poor game and made some fatal wrong mistakes in the build up to their goal. He should never have took off Jones for Murphy as we need Jones as a defensive option from set pieces. Why did he not notice that Campbell was having a shocker and looked like a lost school kid on the park every time the ball came near him?


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