Sunderland U21s boss Robbie Stockdale has praised his side’s fighting spirit after they held Norwich to a 0-0 draw in Norfolk despite playing most of the second half with ten men.

The Black Cats were the better side for much of the game, but finished with a numerical disadvantage after Tom McNamee was given his marching orders for a lunge of Luciano Becchio.

Sunderland face Leicester on Saturday.

Stockdale said he was impressed by the way his side controlled the game and also praised their desire to carry on despite being a man down.

“The players were absolutely outstanding, the shift they put in, their attitude and the way they performed made the team and themselves proud,” he said after the game.

“We created chances despite having ten men and Duncan Watmore was a constant threat that they simply couldn’t handle. There were pluses throughout the team because the comradery was excellent and tactically they got it spot on. 

“On another day we would have won the game with the chances we created and, particularly after the sending off, we were very pleased in the end to get a draw, but if I was to be over-critical I would say it was an opportunity missed to win.”

The match was the first of a double-header of fixtures this week as the Black Cats prepare for a trip to Fulham on Friday.

And Stockdale was keen to encourage his side to push for a similar performance in the capital.

“We have another big game on Friday so we will be in every day working hard building up to it because we have to replicate the performance from today to ensure we get the right result at Fulham.”



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