Tag Archives: black

Peter Crouch seen with black eye while out with Abbey Clancy

Where did you get that shiner, Crouch Stoke striker spotted with black eye after ending goal drought

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:56 GMT, 23 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:31 GMT, 23 April 2013

Having returned to his previous club last weekend, it looks like Peter Crouch may have picked up a few battle scars to get back to scoring ways.

The Stoke striker netted just his second goal since September when he struck at relegation threatened QPR on Saturday, but he has since emerged with a mystery black eye.

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

The former England international was seen leaving Liverpool Dental Spa today with his wife Abbey Clancy, who is a regular, and daughter Sophia where the bruise underneath his right eye was clear to see.

Having started the season with five goals from his first seven games, Crouch’s season has tailed off, with his only goal before Saturday coming in a 2-2 draw with Wigan in January.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis had backed the former Tottenham hitman to rediscover his scoring touch, as he said before the QPR game: There's been a while, especially after his injury, where Peter has not performed to the level he was at before.

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

‘He had a good start to the season and looked a real handful. Hopefully he will be back to what he was in the next five games.’

Crouch came off with a minute to go at QPR but should be in line to face Norwich at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Battle scar: Peter Crouch celebrates scoring at QPR last Saturday

Battle scar: Peter Crouch celebrates scoring at QPR last Saturday

Sunderland axe Martin O"Neill after dismal run leaves them one point above the drop zone

Sunderland axe O'Neill after dismal run leaves them one point above the drop zone

PUBLISHED:

21:40 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

21:47 GMT, 30 March 2013

Martin O'Neill parted company with Sunderland after the Black Cats slipped deeper into relegation trouble.

The 61-year-old's departure was confirmed hours after Saturday's 1-0 home defeat by Manchester United, which left the club sitting just a point clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone with seven games left to play.

A club statement said: 'Sunderland AFC has announced that it has parted company with manager Martin O'Neill this evening.

Time's up: Sunderland have axed Martin O'Neill

Time's up: Sunderland have axed Martin O'Neill

'The club would like to place on record its thanks to Martin and wishes him well for the future.

'An announcement will be made in the coming days regarding a successor..

More to follow

England beat New Zealand by five wickets to win ODI series

England clinch ODI series win as Finn blows away Black Caps in Auckland

By
David Clough, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

07:59 GMT, 23 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:06 GMT, 23 February 2013

England cashed in on a fine performance with the ball and in the field to coast to victory at Eden Park and wrap up the one-day international series 2-1 against New Zealand.

Steven Finn was the driving force as the tourists bowled their hosts out for 185, and today's decider turned into a mis-match.

Even Brendon McCullum's third successive half-century was unable to rescue a defendable total for New Zealand, albeit on a pitch which had offered plenty early on to well directed seam bowling after Alastair Cook had won the toss.

Finn when you're winning: The England fast bowler (left) picked up three wickets

Finn when you're winning: The England fast bowler (left) picked up three wickets

England's two premier exponents, Finn and James Anderson, soon reduced the hosts to a hapless 11 for three.

McCullum (79) refused to let England have it all their own way with six
fours and five sixes but, without significant support, could not turn
the tide on his own.

It seemed a foregone conclusion that England would make light work of their target.

In the event they were not flattered by a five-wicket margin, and it was
more instructive that they also had 12.3 overs to spare.

More to follow…

Swann dive: England spinner Graeme Swann swoops to catch James Franklin out

Swann dive: England spinner Graeme Swann swoops to catch James Franklin out

Fraizer Campbell joins Cardiff City from Sunderland

Cardiff sign Campbell in bid for goals to fire them to top flight

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

16:12 GMT, 21 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:40 GMT, 21 January 2013

Enlarge

On the move: Campbell has joined Cardiff from Sunderland

On the move: Campbell has joined Cardiff

Cardiff have signed Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

The 25-year-old England forward, moves to South Wales for an undisclosed fee having scored 10 times in 72 Sunderland appearances since joining from Manchester United.

Campbell came through the youth ranks at Old Trafford before signing as a professional for Sir Alex Ferguson's side in 2006.

He spent loan spells with Antwerp and
Tottenham but really made a name for himself at Hull, scoring 15 goals
in 32 starts and helping them reach the top flight.

Campbell says goodbye (via Twitter)

'Thanks for having me Sunderland it's been emotional I will miss it all. All the best for the rest of the season lads #hawaythelads'

After recovering from injury he made his
full England debut against Holland 11 months ago but has scored just
once in 15 appearances this season for the Black Cats.

Despite Cardiff sitting 10 points clear at the top of the Championship, none of their forwards have scored on a regular basis.

Heidar Helguson is their top scorer with just seven goals in 24 starts.

New start: Campbell's career never properly took off at Sunderland

New start: Campbell's career never properly took off at Sunderland

Danny Graham latest: Newcastle supporting striker made anti-Sunderland comment in old interview

Black Cats target Graham: I would stay as far away from Sunderland as I could!

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

20:23 GMT, 17 January 2013

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UPDATED:

20:55 GMT, 17 January 2013

Danny Graham is close to a 5million move to Sunderland but if he signs for the Wearside club it will be a controversial move to say the least.

The Gateshead-born striker supports Newcastle and in an interview conducted during his time at Watford was asked who he would support if his club ceased to exist.

Graham replied: 'Put it this way. I would stay as far away from Sunderland as I could. It would probably have to be Gateshead.'

Controversial switch: Danny Graham is close to moving to Sunderland... but he is a renowned Newcastle fan

Controversial switch: Danny Graham is close to moving to Sunderland… but he is a renowned Newcastle fan

History: Graham answered the bottom question provocatively while at Watford

History: Graham answered the bottom question provocatively while at Watford

Many Black Cats fans were already upset about the move for the 27-year-old attacker and the old interview snippet being dug up and posted on Twitter will not go down well at the Stadium of Light.

One Sunderland supporter posted on a fans forum: 'Danny Graham is a born and bred Mag and he really doesn't like us. If he signed he would just take the p*** like all the others have.

'This, like ALL other craa [slang for Newcastle supporter] supporting players we have had in recent history, will end in tears.'

Another added: 'I just think Danny Graham is a disaster waiting to happen.'

Sunderland need to bring in a new forward to ease the burden on Steven Fletcher. The former Wolves hitman has the lion's share of their goals this season, with eight goals out of the club's 30.

Sunderland 1 Manchester City 0 – match report

Sunderland 1 Manchester City 0: Old boy Johnson comes back to haunt Mancini as Black Cats take all three points

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UPDATED:

18:13 GMT, 26 December 2012

Adam Johnson came back to haunt Manchester City as the champions slipped to a third successive Barclays Premier League defeat at Sunderland.

The England winger, who was considered surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium during the summer and was allowed to join the Black Cats in a 10million move, embarrassed former team-mate Joe Hart with a dipping 53rd-minute strike which beat him at the near post and clinched three precious points for his new employers.

However, the winner was not without controversy with the visitors adamant they should have been awarded a free-kick for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta during the build-up.

Making the difference: Adam Johnson celebrates scoring against City

Making the difference: Adam Johnson celebrates scoring against City

Match facts

Sunderland: Mignolet, Larsson (Campbell 78), Cuellar, Kilgallon, Rose (Bardsley 88), Gardner, McClean, Colback, Johnson, Sessegnon, Fletcher.

Subs not used: Westwood, Wickham, McFadden, Vaughan, Bramble.

Booked: Colback.

Goals: Johnson 53.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Toure (Barry 86), Nastasic, Milner, Javi Garcia (Lescott 89), Toure , Silva,Aguero, Tevez (Dzeko 72).

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Rekik, Razak.

Booked: Kompany, Toure, Nastasic.

Attendance: 42,190

Referee: Kevin Friend

Latest Premier League table and results

Sunderland turned in one of their best displays of the season on a day when City played only fitfully, and Hart had to turn away Steven Fletcher's skidding effort and keep out Stephane Sessegnon 10 minutes from time.

However, if Johnson was the hero in front of a delighted Boxing Day crowd of 42,190, keeper Simon Mignolet deserved equal praise.

The Belgian denied Yaya Toure and David Silva before the break and Sergio Aguero after it to claim a precious clean sheet and make a huge contribution towards the win.

City arrived determined not to complete an unwanted hat-trick of 1-0 league defeats on Wearside and, after a lacklustre start, eased themselves into the game.

They might have been ahead with just eight minutes gone, but Vincent Kompany's header came back off the crossbar and Yaya Toure's goalbound follow-up was hacked away by Mignolet, who reacted instantly to deny the visitors an early lead.

Silva curled a 10th-minute free-kick
wastefully over the bat and Toure saw a curling effort plucked from
underneath the crossbar by Mignolet three minutes later.

Christmas cheer: Craig Gardner (centre) celebrates with team mates following his sides win over City

Christmas cheer: Craig Gardner (centre) celebrates with team mates following his sides win over City

Dejected: Carlos Tevez looks frustrated as City could not find a goal

Dejected: Carlos Tevez looks frustrated as City could not find a goal

City were pinning Sunderland deep inside their own half and it seemed only a matter of time before they made the pressure tell.

Mignolet had to be at his best once
again with 24 minutes gone after Carlos Tevez and Aguero combined to put
Silva in on goal, only for Mignolet to block his effort at close range.

But
seconds later Hart had to dive to his right to turn away Fletcher's
rasping left-foot drive and the Black Cats, buoyed after weathering the
early storm, started to force their way into the game.

Beaten man: Adam Johnson (not pictured) gets the ball past Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart

Beaten man: Adam Johnson (not pictured) gets the ball past Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart

Mixed emotions: The Sunderland players and fans celebrate as Hart and Kompany look on

Mixed emotions: The Sunderland players and fans celebrate as Hart and Kompany look on

Johnson was enjoying the better of his individual battle with Zabaleta, who played much of the half with a heavily bandaged head after suffering a cut, and as James McClean took up the theme, Martin O'Neill's men upped their tempo.

Kompany and Matija Nastasic had to repel dangerous crosses from Sebastian Larsson and McClean respectively, and Sessegnon flashed a header well wide from Craig Gardner's driven 42nd-minute cross.

In the wars: Pablo Zabaleta gets a cut after Steven Fletcher catches him with his boot

In the wars: Pablo Zabaleta gets a cut after Steven Fletcher catches him with his boot

Body on the line: Zabaleta has blood pouring from his head after the incident

Body on the line: Zabaleta has blood pouring from his head after the incident

Back in business: Zabaleta returns with his head bandaged

Back in business: Zabaleta returns with his head bandaged

Larsson drilled a late free-kick straight into the defensive wall, but he and his team-mates left the pitch at the break with their clean sheet intact and everything still to play for.

Sunderland picked up where they had left off after the restart as McClean and Johnson, with the help of Sessegnon and Fletcher, stretched City uncomfortably at times. It was they who took the lead with eight minutes of the half played.

City boss Roberto Mancini and Zabaleta were left appealing in vain for a free-kick for Gardner's challenge on the full-back, but Johnson picked up possession and cut inside before blasting in a dipping shot which caught Hart flat-footed at his near post and squirmed into the bottom corner.

Sessegnon might have doubled his side's advantage within two minutes, but pulled his effort across the face of goal with City in disarray.

Old boy: Former City winger Adam Johnson scored against his former side

Old boy: Former City winger Adam Johnson scored against his former side

Getting stuck in: Jack Colback and Matt Kilgallon challenge Manchester City's Carlos Tevez

Getting stuck in: Jack Colback and Matt Kilgallon challenge Manchester City's Carlos Tevez

Stopped in his tracks: Sergio Aguero is halted by Colback

Stopped in his tracks: Sergio Aguero is halted by Colback

The visitors were almost breached once again on the hour when McClean picked out Sessegnon in front of goal, but the Benin international could not take the ball in his stride.

Kompany, who had already been booked, was fortunate to escape a second yellow card for a block on McClean as City struggled to contain a Black Cats side growing in confidence by the minute.

But the visitors gradually regained their composure and started to move the ball confidently once again and Mignolet had to claim a 68th-minute Zabaleta cross at his near post after being played in by James Milner.

Eyes on the ball: Steven Fletcher and Vincent Kompany fight for the ball

Eyes on the ball: Steven Fletcher and Vincent Kompany fight for the ball

The Belgium international excelled himself once again two minutes later to deny Aguero one on one, but it was Hart in the firing line with 10 minutes remaining when Sessegnon was played in by substitute Fraizer Campbell with the keeper coming out on top.

City battered away at their hosts as time ran down, but with Sunderland defending deep and with tenacity, they simply could not find a way through and McClean almost served up the perfect finish with an 88th-minute shot which flew just wide.

Bad day: Roberto Mancini saw his side lose ground on Manchester United as they failed to win

Bad day: Roberto Mancini saw his side lose ground on Manchester United as they failed to win

Martin O"Neill gets perfect tonic before tough festive fixtures with victory at Southampton

O'Neill gets perfect tonic before tough festive fixtures with victory at Southampton

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UPDATED:

18:57 GMT, 22 December 2012

Martin O'Neill believes Sunderland will go into their tough festive fixtures boosted by the 'massive' win at fellow strugglers Southampton.

Steven Fletcher's strike three minutes before half-time proved the difference on the south coast as the Black Cats held out for a 1-0 win in difficult conditions at St Mary's.

It was a performance that pleased O'Neill, whose side now face tough matches in quick succession against Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool.

The main man: Steven Fletcher's goals have been vital for Sunderland this season

The main man: Steven Fletcher's goals have been vital for Sunderland this season

'In the last three games, we've been able to win two games against sides beside us at this moment,' he said, referring to the 3-0 defeat of Reading and today's victory.

'It has been a tough old season right from the start and I just feel that win today, obviously before Christmas and with the programme we have coming up in the next three games, is massive for us.

'We got a bit of confidence from that, although we have a fair few games to go.

'The game was very tight as I expected it to be. Southampton are in really good form, particularly here, and they are on a good run at the moment.

On the up: Martin O'Neill was buoyed by Sunderland's second away win of the season

On the up: Martin O'Neill was buoyed by Sunderland's second away win of the season

'It is hard to say but I think we got a bit of confidence from the second-half performance at Old Trafford [last weekend despite losing 3-1 to Manchester United].

'I thought we took it into the game and started brilliantly, with Stephane Sessegnon having a great shot and the goalkeeper making a great save.

'Then the game started to develop
into a bit of a pattern, with attacks by Southampton and a couple of
counter-attacks by ourselves, so it was important to get the first goal.

'We got it at a great time in the game and then dealt with a second-half onslaught, which was expected.

'Southampton tried to break us down and put a few balls into the box, but I thought we dealt with them pretty okay.'

Summer
signing Fletcher proved the difference at St Mary's, sweeping home a
ball from the left to earn three points for Sunderland.

'Fletcher has been fantastic for us, really fantastic,' O'Neill said.

'It
looks like Sessegnon has miskicked it, thank God. He should score more
goals but I am glad he left it or “passed” it to Fletcher.

'His
contribution to the club this season has been immense. It is not just
that he scores a goal or two for us, but they have been big goals.'

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins, meanwhile, was left frustrated as his side failed to get going after a two-week break.

'It just didn't happen for us today,' he said. 'For me, it was uncharacteristically flat for whatever reason.

Not at the races: Southampton's Jose Fonte goes up for a corner

Not at the races: Southampton's Jose Fonte goes up for a corner

'Obviously I will digest that and with the goal we conceded just before half-time, there are two or three people that could have done better in stopping the goal.

'That has obviously given Sunderland something to hang onto in the second half and, to give them credit, they defended well.

'We tried to change things around early to give ourselves an opportunity to increase the tempo, find a way forward, stretch the game to create openings, but unfortunately we haven't scored any goals.'

Wide boy: Gaston Ramirez played on the left for Southampton

Wide boy: Gaston Ramirez played on the left for Southampton

Southampton looking devoid of ideas going forward without influential captain Adam Lallana, who picked up a knee injury against Reading last time out.

'It can't be about one player,' Adkins said. 'Every team is going to have players that are missing.

'You have got to have a strong enough group of players that can go and contribute. Who is to say if Adam had played it would have been any different

'We played Gaston Ramirez on the left-hand side, where he plays for Uruguay and does that very well. We can't just turn around and say that losing one player caused the result.'

Dan Carter can rock England for New Zealand

Dan can Paint It Black: Stones fan Carter set to rock HQ and make it 10 on the trot for Kiwis

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UPDATED:

23:34 GMT, 27 November 2012

It says a lot for Dan Carter’s status in New Zealand that when the All
Black fly-half announced that his wife, Honor, is expecting their first
child, the country’s Prime Minister was quick to publicly pass on his
congratulations.

What John Key and all Kiwis recognise is that their record-breaking No
10 is a national treasure, not to mention the world’s all-time leading
points scorer and — by common consent — the finest fly-half in the
history of Test rugby.

The 30-year-old is revered in his homeland and respected around the
globe. He has been the poster-boy for the sport for several years,
having long since reluctantly acquired the mantle which once sat
uncomfortably on Jonny Wilkinson’s shoulders.

Respected: Dan Carter (centre) is a key player for New Zealand

Respected: Dan Carter (centre) is a key player for New Zealand

Stones fan: Carter went to watch the legendary rock band

Stones fan: Carter went to watch the legendary rock band

Carter is a figurehead for the game but when he is abroad, in countries
where rugby is not king, he is able to enjoy the rare delights of a
lower profile. He can blend into a crowd, which is exactly what he did
on Sunday. Just hours after arriving in London from Cardiff, he paid a
visit to the O2 Arena to watch The Rolling Stones. ‘It was awesome,’ he
said. ‘It was amazing. I was rocking out!’

Having relished the role of the excited fan, he is now in business mode,
which spells trouble for England. Carter missed the All Blacks’
victories over Italy and Wales while recovering from an injury to his
achilles-calf area, but expects to be fit for the tour finale,
Saturday’s QBE International at Twickenham.

Stuart Lancaster has enough on his plate without having to tackle the
omens which Carter will bring to HQ. Rewind to June 2003 and the
fresh-faced prospect from rural Canterbury was an unused replacement as
the England of Martin Johnson and Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio, Phil
Vickery and all came to Wellington and beat the All Blacks en route to
World Cup glory.

Since then, since Carter has become a points machine,
it has been Kiwi dominance all the way in this fixture. Nine games, nine
New Zealand wins.

Pricey: Tickets to see Mick Jagger and Co cost top dollar

Pricey: Tickets to see Mick Jagger and Co cost top dollar

Surprise: Carter believes England should have kicked on after their 2003 triumph

Surprise: Carter believes England should have kicked on after their 2003 triumph

Dan Carter

‘I’m surprised England haven’t done more since 2003,’ said Carter.
‘They’ve shown the strength of their side only in patches since then.
Maybe consistency is what’s been lacking. They’ve got the players, so
talent’s not an issue.’

Recalling the night in Wellington when Sir Clive Woodward’s team
conquered his compatriots while he sat on the bench, Carter added: ‘It
was in 2003 that I got the All Black jersey for the first time, though
unfortunately I didn’t get on. England were in their prime and had a
successful year. We have real pride in not losing at home but they
taught us a lesson that night.’

Since then, his star has risen rapidly while England’s fortunes have
declined. Carter quickly asserted his credentials as a fly-half with the
full tool box — kicking precision and robust defence, mental fortitude
and vision, quick hands and nimble feet.

He reached the bar which had been set by Wilkinson and soared past it,
with the proof of his claim to be the world’s leading playmaker
delivered one night back in Wellington’s ‘Cake Tin’ in 2005, when he led
the Lions a merry dance in a complete display of the No 10 arts.

That, and so many other performances of the highest class, have helped
New Zealand regain their pre-eminence in the global game. Sadly, when
they finally claimed their Holy Grail by winning a home World Cup last
year, Carter missed the sharp end of the tournament through injury.

To see the Kiwi response to his demise at first hand was to understand
his role as a focal point of so much hope and expectation. Negative
bulletins about Carter prompt nationwide panic. It is a small-scale
version of the phenomenon in India, where public morale is intrinsically
linked to the health and batting exploits of Sachin Tendulkar.

So when Carter revealed on Twitter yesterday that Honor, a former New
Zealand hockey captain, is 21 weeks pregnant, the announcement made
waves. He was typically bashful about all the fuss. After admitting to
being ‘very excited’, he was asked if he hoped his child would be
sporting. Stuttering for an appropriate answer, he eventually came up
with: ‘Yeah . . . reasonable genes there, so who knows…!’

More comfortable territory was any talk of Saturday’s Test. While Carter
diplomatically suggested England can ‘beat any team on their day’, it
was somewhat more revealing when he described the hosts as
‘well-structured’. In direct opposition to him at Twickenham will be
21-year-old Owen Farrell of Saracens, who has eight caps to the Kiwi’s
93. It will be a classic case of master versus pupil.

This may be the last game in a gruelling season, but for the All Blacks
and their icon, there can be no easing off now. Steve Hansen’s side have
a 20-match unbeaten run to protect and Carter is adamant there is no
danger of complacency despite their nine-year hold on this fixture. For
his own part, the fire still burns.

‘Every time you get to pull on the black jersey you’re wanting to
perform,’ he said. ‘The drive is still there, which is important. The
hunger and desire to play the best I can every week is still there,
which is a good sign.’

It is a particularly bad sign for England. Carter has had his fun
watching the Stones. Now he is on his way back to Twickenham, ready to
paint it black once more.

DAN CARTER'S TWITTER COMPETITION

Carter with rugby tickets

After sampling the most expensive tickets in town at the Rolling Stones concert, New Zealand star Dan Carter is offering his Twitter followers some freebies.

The fly-half is giving away two pairs of tickets (pictured right) for England’s crunch game against the All Blacks at Twickenham on Saturday. The catch Entrants have to submit a ‘creative’ film explaining why they deserve the tickets, performed in front of a London landmark.

Carter will announce the winner at midday on Friday.

Tweets from @DanCarter

‘Last leg of the tour and I think we should do something crazy and creative for #EnglandDCHookup’

‘In order to win double pass to the England game, you need to send me a #creative video on why you want those tickets.’

‘The video needs to include a well known London landmark in the background. Remember you have to be able to attend the game in person.’

‘Shy & don’t want to be in the video that’s fine as long the video is creative, includes a London landmark and why you want those tickets’

Sunderland deny Martin O"Neill resignation reports

Sunderland move swiftly to deny claims O'Neill offered to walk away after West Brom defeat

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UPDATED:

15:28 GMT, 25 November 2012

Sunderland have been quick to deny reports that manager Martin O'Neill offered his resignation in the wake of the club's home defeat to West Brom.

The Black Cats, who have won twice in their last 20 Premier League games, were booed off by fans after suffering a 4-2 reverse against the in-form Baggies, leaving them just three points above the relegation zone.

It was then claimed that the Northern
Irishman, who has been in charge less than a year, had offered to end
his three-year deal with the club.

Up against it: Martin O'Neill has not offered to quit Sunderland, say the club

Up against it: Martin O'Neill has not offered to quit Sunderland, say the club

But Sky Sports reported on Sunday morning that the club had told them O'Neill had 'unequivocally not resigned'.

Speaking after Saturday's defeat, the 60-year-old seemed positive.

He said: 'We have a lot of work to do, we accept that. What I don't want is players getting concerned and worried because we have lost the last couple of games here and suddenly everybody is against us.'

He then added: 'I don't mind getting beaten four or five-nil if it means that we are trying to turn a deficit back around again. There was always that possibility that West Bromwich Albion would maybe get a third goal.

'As it turns out, Simon Mignolet made a really good save after we had got off to a good start in the second half, so that kept us going.

'But we have to show that fight and determination throughout the whole season, not for one, not for two games, three games.

'If we had got something out of this, that would have kept it going. As it turns out, it has knocked us back again, but we will go and we have got to be prepared for Tuesday now.'

Martin O"Neill vows to transform Sunderland

I'll turn it around! Under-fire O'Neill defiant in face of Sunderland quit rumours

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UPDATED:

23:03 GMT, 9 November 2012

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has vowed to transform the club, despite their difficult start to the season.

Amid Twitter rumours that the ex-Aston Villa boss was considering his position after the loss to his former club left the Black Cats in 16th, O’Neill has assured fans that he will turn around the club’s fortunes.

Under pressure: Martin O'Neill is feeling the heat after a slow start to the season

Under pressure: Martin O'Neill is feeling the heat after a slow start to the season

Sunderland have the worst goals and shots on target ratio in England and travel to bogey team Everton today. They have not won at Goodison Park in 13 games since November 1996, letting in 35 goals.

O’Neill said: ‘We are trying to improve the team, if we can, but it just takes a bit of time. It’s not overnight — I have not completed a season yet — but I intend to do that.

‘I’m sitting here today in early November 2012. I hope that in a couple of seasons we’ll have really strong team — being as strong as Everton are, for instance. That would be a reasonable model for us.’