Mick McCarthy tonight defended his team’s performance despite having squandered a two goal lead and succumbing to a 3-2 defeat.
Sunderland went ahead as early as the fourth minute of the match against Alan Pardew’s West Ham from a Jason McAteer goal, followed in the 30th minute by McAteer’s fellow returnee John Oster.
But elation for Sunderland and their supporters turned to heartbreak when the Hammers salvaged all three points, courtesy of two goals from Jermaine Defoe and one from Ian Pearce.
McCarthy said, “We played well, scored twice and made lots of chances. We shouldn’t have lost.
“West Ham may be euphoric but they were battered for 45 minutes. At half time I still didn’t think we were home and dry because we had only played 45 minutes.
“Their first goal caused us a lot of pressure. It’s too simplistic to say it’s down to luck. With a bit more experience and calm we would have won.”
But McCarthy conceded that the atmosphere amongst the team tonight isn’t a good one.
“We’ll go home morose, sad and sick.”