Tisdale laments Sunderland's second strike as the killer blow

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale

Few could deny Luke O'Nien a goal against MK Dons, but just four minutes after Max Power's opener, his lob killed off the affair for Paul Tisdale's side.

O'Nien had hit the post and forced Lee Nicholls into a fine save in the three minutes before he eventually found the net as Sunderland ended up 2-1 winners over Dons - Jordan Bowery's second half goal was their first in three games.

But the manic period, which saw Dons go from a match for the Black Cats to suddenly trailing and a rabbit-in-the-headlights, left the manager frustrated.

"We're trying hard, maybe too hard," he said afterwards. "This is not the first time in the last fortnight. But how do you relax when it's so important. The players are together, determined, they know they're good enough, know it will fall to him soon, they know they have deserved more points recently – what else can I say? We're not far away. We need to make sure we don't find ourselves 2-0 down like we did. If it was a goal, we were still in it.

"There is some match-understanding and know-how we need to get better at, but we have a lot of young players out there. We're not far away.

"I'm disappointed but I'm fairly chipper about how we're doing. I know we need points, I'm not skirting that, but I'm sure it will come soon.

"We are playing well, we've finished strong in almost all of our games recently, but that second goal was the game-changer. Having had a good start, where we weren't at all bad in that opening 15 minutes, we conceded a good goal, but that second one five minutes later was the blow.

"As a group, we have to be wiser to those moments, and I question whether we were. It was such an uphill task from there and we did so well to get back into it. We had a strong finish and it could so easily have been different."