Sunderland 1 Middlesbrough 1: O’Neill hails Campbell display

Martin O'Neill praised Sunderland's Fraizer Campbell's impact as a substitute as the Black Cats drew with Middlesbrough

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Martin O'Neill succeeded Steve Bruce as Sunderland boss in December PA Photos

martin o'neill

Martin O’Neill hailed Fraizer Campbell’s impact after the Sunderland striker’s equaliser secured a 1-1 draw and set up a FA Cup fourth-round replay against Middlesbrough.

The 24-year-old made his first appearance after an 18-month absence through injury and the former Manchester United forward replaced Connor Wickham in the second half, before booking the Black Cats a replay at the Riverside.

“Fraizer Campbell got us a big goal, gave us a big lift and then we thought we might be able to get it,” O’Neill told the BBC. “But it would have been hard luck on Middlesbrough and we both live to fight another day.”

“We started off slowly in the game, which was surprising considering it was a cup game, and an important match for us.

“When they got in front, and they deserved to, we thought we had an equaliser but it was chalked off. I’ve not seen a replay of it.”

Middlesbrough midfielder Barry Robson netted after 17 minutes with a superbly taken volley which flew past Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

The Black Cats then had a goal ruled out for offside just before half-time after Craig Gardner thought he had scored an equaliser for the home side.

But Robson’s careless back-pass was intercepted by James McClean, who teed up Campbell for the striker to net the equaliser.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray remains convinced his side can earn a fifth-round tie against Arsenal or Aston Villa despite their disappointing home record this season.

“We’ve been better on the road than at home this year,” he said. “We’ve found it difficult to win at the Riverside but hopefully with a good atmosphere in a derby, and knowing what will be on offer in the next round, we can make it a great occasion.”

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