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SECONDS OUT

Posted on 12 February 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol was left to rue the lack of a decisive second goal as Sunderland snatched a late draw at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

Martin Jol was left to rue the lack of a decisive second goal as Sunderland snatched a late draw at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

It looked rosy on Wearside with the clocking ticking towards the 90-minute mark with us leading the Premiership clash courtesy of Robbie Keane's 38th-minute strike.

But once again we succumbed to a late, late show from the opposition as substitute Daryl Murphy held off Paul Stalteri before finishing low across Paul Robinson with just two minutes remaining.

The table still makes pleasant reading with us in fourth place and four points ahead of Arsenal but the feeling as the players and staff trudged out of the changing room was almost one of a defeat.

"It's a game played over 90 minutes-plus and you know every team in the Premiership is capable of scoring one goal, so you have to kill them off," said Head Coach Martin.

"It's always a case of scoring the second goal, and we didn't do that.

"I have to say it was difficult to play our own game. In the first 20 minutes we tried to play through the spine of the field with Michael Carrick and Edgar Davids and that's exactly what happened when Robbie scored our goal, so that was good.

"Sometimes you have to play it forward a bit quicker and then support but having said that, I think Sunderland only had one chance when the ball went across the goal in the second half. As I said, the other team is always capable of scoring even in the 91st minute.

"They are probably relegated already and that is maybe the only danger because they have nothing to lose.

"They played the two big men up front, maybe for the first time, but I think we coped with that, so it was no problem.

"We pressurised the ball all the time but then, in the 89th minute, we forgot to pressurise the ball and it went to the space and we were beaten.

"It's not about defending because our defensive record is very good. It's about scoring goals and if you are 2-0 up you can concede a goal and still take the three points. If you are 1-0 up you realise they can still score a goal."