Bardsley reflects on New Year's Day defeat

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Defender looks back on defeat to Villa.

Phil Bardsley was disappointed that his side couldn’t turn their chances into goals during the New Year’s Day defeat to Aston Villa.

Sunderland slipped to a 1-0 reverse as Gabriel Agbonlahor’s 15th-minute strike proved to be the decider at the Stadium of Light.

We dominated possession early on and tried to bring them out and create chances – we had opportunities but couldn’t convert them

- Bardsley on defeat to Villa

Gus Poyet’s side carved out a number of opportunities, especially early on, but couldn’t break through as they suffered a first defeat in six games.

Bardsley himself went close on a couple of occasions as the Black Cats pushed in the second half.

“The way we’d been playing going into the game, we thought we should have got something out of it,” said Bardsley, whose side had taken four points from their previous two outings.

“We dominated possession early on and tried to bring them out and create chances – we had opportunities but couldn’t convert them.

“Villa sat in and left the two big lads, Agbonlahor and [Christian] Benteke, up front – we pushed and pushed but they hit us on the break a few times too.

“We had to chase the game to try to get back into it."

Now Bardsley says the squad must refocus quickly as a busy schedule has two tough cup tests in store.

League One side Carlisle visit the Stadium of Light on Sunday before Manchester United head north next Tuesday for the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-finals.

“We’ve got Carlisle and Manchester United coming up so it’s time to go again,” he said.

“There’s some time before the next Barclays Premier League game so we have to put our focus on the cup for a while and see how we get on there.

“We have to try and get back to winning ways.”