Sunderland 1 Stoke 1: We deserved our point, says John O’Shea
Sunderland 1 Stoke 1: John O'Shea says 10-man Black Cats deserved a crucial point after a battling display against the Potters
John O’Shea felt Sunderland deserved their “valuable” point after 10-man Black Cats came from behind to hold Stoke City at the Stadium of Light.
The visitors took the lead through their Republic of Ireland international Jonathan Walters after the striker poked Charlie Adam’s corner past Simon Mignolet in the ninth minute.
Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Adam late in the first half before O’Shea popped up with a leveller in the 63rd minute.
The Black Cats moved three points clear of 18th-placed Wigan Athletic, who face Swansea on Tuesday, and O’Shea urged his team-mates to focus on their next six-pointer against Southampton on Sunday.
“Yes we hope it is [a crucial point],” O’Shea told Sky Sports.
“The manager spoke at half-time about how positive we were for the last 20 minutes of the first half and we had to carry that forward.
“I think we’re always going to have a chance with Jack [Colback], Danny [Rose], Adam [Johnson] and James [McCLean] to cause them problems.
“We got a goal from a set-piece but with that power that the lads have, we were going to cause them problems.
“We had to ride our luck a couple of times, but overall, I thought we got our just rewards.”
He added: “We hope it’s a very valuable point but we have to make sure we focus on Southampton now.
“It’s a massive game at home. We had one or two knocks and suspensions. But we have to dust ourselves down and go again.”