John O'Shea

O'Shea on Arsenal point

Defender looks back on hard-earned draw.

Sunderland defender John O’Shea believes Sunderland deserved to come away from the Emirates with a point and could have had more if they’d taken their first-half chances.

Jack Colback and James McClean saw their efforts saved by Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny during the opening stages as the Black Cats soaked up persistent Arsenal pressure and looked to catch the Gunners on the break.

O’Shea said afterwards: “The point was hard earned and I think in the first half we just had the better chances.

“It’s one of those things coming to the Emirates you know with Arsenal, if you can limit them to one or two opportunities, you have a chance.

“We made a couple of good breakaways, fantastic play from Stephane [Sessegnon] and James McClean and the lads in midfield as well. James was unlucky with his shot and Jack [Colback] had a great chance as well.

“They were susceptible to the counter attack and we proved that early on in the game. In the second half we didn’t create as much but I think that was half to do with the conditions. It was tough out there, especially in the last 20 minutes.”

“But there’s plenty things to be positive about.”

Injuries to a number of players in pre-season saw manager Martin O’Neill give Carlos Cuellar his first competitive start in defence alongside O’Shea, with the former Manchester United man impressed with his new team-mate’s performance.

“Carlos is fantastic,” O’Shea added. “Obviously the manager knows him well from his Aston Villa days. He’s come in and settled well and he’s a fantastic defender.

“He’s not afraid to play with the ball either and sometimes we’re going to need that. But sometimes you have to stick your head and Carlos is able to do that.”