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We missed Adam, says boss

Published:
by Stuart Vose

O’Neill on injured winger.

Martin O’Neill admitted Sunderland missed the wing play of Adam Johnson after the England man was forced to skip the draw with Liverpool through injury.

Johnson picked up the problem on international duty and was ruled out after receiving treatment in the run-up to the Black Cats’ first home league game of the season.

Seb Larsson returned to right-wing duty in Johnson’s absence, with Jack Colback moving forward and Danny Rose debuting at left back.

Also, centre-back Carlos Cuellar picked up a problem and was replaced at the break, leaving O’Neill to reflect on his misfortune on the injury front.

“Adam was a major loss to us,” he said. “At the moment we can’t afford to have real quality players out of the team.

“We missed his trickery and his ability to go past players and eke out an opening at times when we had good possession of the ball.

"Losing him was a blow, as was Carlos coming off. I’m not sure how bad he is but I thought the best thing to do was take him off when we did.”