Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Dominant Cats Still Fray Nerves

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Dominant Cats Still Fray Nerves

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner At Loftus Road


Sunderland 2

ROY Keane apologised to Sunder-land's fans after his players put their nerves on edge before finally extending their unbeaten run to four matches with victory over Queens Park Rangers.

Despite both sides starting the game level on points and goal difference, the Black Cats totally outplayed the Londoners on their home ground and went into half-time with a comfortable 2-0 lead, courtesy of goals from Daryl Murphy and Grant Leadbitter.

But the second half saw Ross Wallace miss an open goal from two yards, David Connolly strike the post, Ray Jones pull a goal back and an anxious moment in the final minute of added time when Darren Ward failed to hold a Lee Cook shot.

Keane admitted it had made for fraught watching but was pleased to see his side head back from London with three points.

"I'm pleased for the fans," said Keane afterwards. "It's not an ideal time for us to kick off on a Tuesday night in London but hopefully we've given them something to be happy about.

"For us on the bench, it's bloody hell so I don't know what the fans are going through." Typically, Keane was not entirely happy with a dominant display.

"We saw some very good and some very average football," he said. "We'd be disappointed with the goal we gave away.

"We're unbeaten in our last four now and we're going to have to go on some sort of decent run if we're going to push for the play-offs.

"On the back of two draws, two wins, we hope we're going in the right direction, but we're not going to get too excited. There's a lot of hard work to go."

The 35-year-old blamed his team's failings on a lack of numbers - a little surprising given he has already sent 10 players out on loan since the transfer window closed in August.

With that in mind, Keane stressed the importance of bringing in new faces in January.

"We need one or two more bodies to have a decent season," he said. "We're down to the bare bones at the moment. …

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