Martin O'Neill full of praise for Swans' slick style
MARTIN O'Neill was full of praise for Swansea City after Sunderland left the Liberty Stadium with a hard-earned point this weekend.
The Black Cats twice got in front thanks to goals from Steven Fletcher and had a man advantage in the closing stages after Chico Flores's sending off.
But they went home happy with a share of the spoils after slick Swansea controlled much of the game.
"It was a really tough afternoon for us," O'Neill conceded.
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"Even with ten men, Swansea kept the ball very well and perhaps my only disappointment was that we couldn't retain possession and use the ball better after the sending off.
"But I am delighted with the point and I say well played Swansea, particularly when they went down to ten."
Sunderland were fortunate to be ahead at the break having created almost nothing and scored what were two soft goals from Swansea's perspective.
And they could have no complaints about Michu's second-half leveller as the home side took charge of the game.
"We surrendered the initiative in the second half," reckoned O'Neill.
"When we had the ball we tried to do something spectacular when it wasn't there for us, and that allowed Swansea to come and camp round our area.
"I thought our own poor play actually led to the equalising goal, but in fairness it was coming and you'd have to say Swansea probably deserved it.
"I seem to be being really pro-Swansea here, but we have had two really tough away games at the start of the season and we are delighted with a point."
O'Neill was pleased with Fletcher's contribution, as the former Wolves frontman marked his Premier League debut for Sunderland with a brace of goals.
The £14 million fee Sunderland stumped up for Fletcher has raised a few eyebrows, but O'Neill is expecting big things from his new line-leader.
"I am delighted for Steven and with Steven," added the former Celtic manager.
"He is nowhere near match fit, but he scored two good goals and it was great to hear the crowd chanting his name.
"I think he will go on and do very well for us."