Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Focus on Positives, Tommy Tells Cats

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Focus on Positives, Tommy Tells Cats

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Tommy Miller has urged his team-mates to focus on the positives of a commendable performance against the European champions after insisting the match officials were the only participants to embarrass themselves at Anfield on Saturday.

Sunderland lost 1-0 at Liverpool at the weekend and, with the farcical dismissal of Andy Welsh having increased the frustration of Mick McCarthy's side, the Wearsiders travelled back to the North-East in deflated mood.

With Manchester City due at the Stadium of Light tomorrow, McCarthy's team cannot afford to dwell on a disappointing afternoon as they attempt to ensure they do not fall too far behind in the fight for top-flight survival.

And Miller believes that there was evidence on Merseyside to suggest the Black Cats could yet enjoy a successful season.

"To go to Liverpool and play like we did has got to give us a lot of confidence," said the midfielder, who was scathing in his assessment of the decision of referee Barry Knight to send Welsh off at Anfield. "It's no good if we don't take the good things out of the way we played at Anfield into Tuesday's game.

"Liverpool are the European champions, after all, but we gave them a good game. We passed the ball around them well at times and, although they had their chances, we had a lot of possession in key areas.

"We kept the ball well and we have now shown we can do that against a good team like Liverpool. It was disappointing to lose because I genuinely believed that we had the chances, especially in the first half, to have got something from the game."

Although they fell behind to Xabi Alonso's sublime free-kick in the 24th minute, Sunderland hung on grimly and, having changed tactics to increase their attacking threat with 24 minutes to play, were threatening to restore parity.

Yet the loss of Welsh in the 74th minute effectively dashed Wearside hopes. "Andy has said he hasn't even touched him (Luis Garcia)," said Miller of a frankly ridiculous decision. …

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