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Sunderland have a lot more work to do

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Discipline and fighting spirit

Sunderland players were clearly out of their depth when compared in quality to the Tottenham side lined up in front of them, but they fought hard and (mostly) played to their strengths.

The last-gasp win will please the fans but the game has shown how much work Roy Keane still has to do at Sunderland if they are to be a regular fixture in the top flight.

Set pieces were the most obvious problem, but overall it was sloppy possession that put Sunderland under pressure most of the time. You would have expected the Sunderland central midfielders to sit back and protect the back four but there were times a few of the Sunderland players tried to be too cheeky or they didn’t look up before passing.

It was refreshing to see how the players play clever little flicks and execute quick turns on the ball, but more importantly the number of corners they won (thanks to the attacking license given to Richardson and Edwards) was good to see as well, and perhaps a lesson for Tottenham.

Player Ratings

Gordon – One nervy moment but it was a good move to rush out to prevent Berba from getting a clear shot.

Whitehead & Nosworthy – Composed, effective and impressive.

Paul McShane – Man of the Match, fantastic performance from him.

Carlos Edwards – Quality winger with a great attitude and willingness to run at the opposition defense. If Tottenham had him in their side they would have won this 3-0.

Anthony Stokes & Kieran Richardson – Disappointing, a lot more was expected from both of them.

Liam Miller – Not bad at all, could do well for Sunderland.

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.