Luck and application key for Sunderland – Advocaat
Sunderland were thankful for more than just good fortune in a victory sealed by two deflected goals, according to Dick Advocaat after Saturday's 2-0 win at Everton.
Danny Graham and Jermain Defoe were on target at Goodison Park with fortuitous touches from team-mates' efforts on goal.
However, having seen his side soak up wave after wave of Everton pressure to pick up a crucial three points in their fight to stay in the Premier League, Advocaat made sure to praise his players.
"It was not a great game on our side, but in the end it was very effective. In the end all that matters is the result, but we were lucky today," he said.
"Everton had some moments they outplayed us, but our back five and the goalkeeper played really well, they played well last week but they had more problems today.
"We have three points, I'll try to forget the negative things.
"It was not only luck, it was the way we worked very, very hard, defence stood strong. You can see if you have the commitment to give everything against a better team you can still get results.
"A few days ago it was Everton 3-0 Manchester United, and today it is Everton Sunderland 0-2 so that's good."
Defoe, who played much of the game in a hugely unfamiliar wing-back role, was singled out for special praise.
"It was not his favourite position but we are in a situation where we have to give everything for the club to stay up," Advocaat added
"But it's very positive and he can score as well he can give himself a boost. He had the freedom to go away from the position, and come inside. It was very positive.
"If you play with three up front the defensive line from the other side have to be careful as well."