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Moyes defends Pickford after late howler

Sunderland boss David Moyes leapt to the defence of Jordan Pickford after the goalkeeper’s blunder gifted Southampton their late equaliser in the 1-1 Premier League draw at St Mary’s.

Jermain Defoe had put the visitors in front in the 80th minute, firing home from the spot having been brought down in the area by Jose Fonte.

But Pickford, who had earlier kept Southampton at bay with a string of fine saves, then allowed Jay Rodriguez’s speculative 25-yard effort to squirm under his body and into the net five minutes from time.

Moyes, however, sympathised with the 22-year-old. 

“It was unfortunate because he played really well today,” he told Sky Sports. “He made three or four great saves for us, but this is what you get with young goalkeepers.

“You have to accept that there are going to be times when they make mistakes.

“With young midfield or forward players, when they make a mistake, it doesn’t show up as much. But with a young defender or goalkeeper, the mistake does get shown up and highlighted.”

Sunderland rode their luck in the early stages as the hosts began brightly, but Moyes felt that his side improved as the game went on.

And he admitted to thinking that Defoe’s penalty might just have been enough to secure his injury-depleted side their first league win of the season. 

“It was really tough in the opening period of 10 or 15 minutes when we never really got to grips with Southampton,” he said.

“They started really well and it maybe showed that we played all of our players in midweek and they didn’t.

“But I thought there were periods in the first half where we did quite well and the stuff we played was ok.

“[After the penalty] I was hoping it was going to be our day and we were going to get the points which would have been so important to us at the moment. They had one or two chances, but we did enough to get something.

“We were unlucky not to get a point at Man City and I thought we might just get the three points today, but we are finding the final 10 minutes of games physically very tough at the moment.

“We’re having difficult weeks just now getting players on the pitch, so considering we’ve had to play the same group of players today as we did in midweek and last Sunday as well, getting a point today was good.”

Moyes went on to reveal that he is very keen to bolster his squad before the transfer window closes on Wednesday.

“I’m sure we’ll try and make some additions, because we definitely need to,” he said. “I was more confident about being able to do that yesterday than I am today, but it can be like that as a manager. It ebbs and flows.”

Sat 27 Aug, 2016
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