Charlton Athletic 2 Sunderland 0: McCarthy unruffled by record low
Monday 12 December 2005
That sense of fatalism became reality during the eight-minute spell in which they self-destructed. Sunderland now go into the Christmas fixtures with the lowest-ever points tally for a Premiership side.
This was their 10th consecutive defeat, and 100th in the Premiership, but their manager still derives a somewhat masochistic pleasure from the top flight.
"I love the games," claimed McCarthy. "You have to have a positive outlook on life. If you don't, it's only going to get worse, isn't it?"
McCarthy admitted that the sentiments of the Sunderland chairman, Bob Murray, are less philosophical. "He's probably more than hacked off," McCarthy said. "As a supporter, he still feels it."
Gary Breen and Nyron Nosworthy were culpable for the first goal. They left a gaping hole which allowed Danny Murphy to slip the ball towards Darren Bent. The Charlton striker exploited his opponents' lack of positional sense and thumped the ball beyond his former Ipswich team-mate Kelvin Davis.
Next it was Steven Caldwell's turn. After clumsily directing the ball on to his own near post, he was quickly caught out again. Luke Young crossed and Caldwell nudged the ball to Darren Ambrose, who added Charlton's second. Caldwell reacted histrionically, thumping the turf.
Sunderland's pain was Charlton's much-needed gain. Alan Curbishley, the Charlton manager, was particularly relieved as his negative tactic of deploying Bent as a lone striker would have attracted serious criticism.
With memories of their surrenders against Blackburn and Tottenham still fresh, Charlton were jittery at 2-0, though. Dean Kiely kept the visitors two goals behind with a string of impressive saves.
Chris Powell, playing his 600th League game, thought the key to this result was his team-mates taking more individual responsibility, a point stressed at last week's emergency meeting called by the players. "Darren Bent was getting plaudits and so was Danny Murphy," said Powell of Charlton's start to the season. "I think we just relied on them and you can't do that as a team."
Curbishley is fed up of reminiscing about Charlton's five wins in their first six games. "People are getting tired of what we have done," he said.
How Sunderland wish they had a similar early-season run to reflect upon.
Goals: Bent (42) 1-0; Ambrose (49) 2-0.
Charlton Athletic (4-5-1): Kiely; Young, Perry, Hreidarsson, Powell; Thomas (El Karkouri, 73), Kishishev, Murphy, Smertin (Hughes, 67), Ambrose; Bent (Bartlett, 76). Substitutes not used: Myhre (gk) Rommedahl.
Sunderland (4-4-2): Davis; Nosworthy (Leadbitter, 80), Breen, Caldwell, Hoyte; Lawrence, Whitehead, Bassila, Arca; Le Tallec (Stead, h-t), Gray. Substitutes not used: Alnwick (gk), Collins, Woods.
Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).
Booked: Sunderland Nosworthy, Caldwell.
Man of the match: Kiely.
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Play-acting mystifies me. I was taught not to show pain
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Nani transfer: No future for winger at Sporting Lisbon as club cannot afford his wages when loan deal with Manchester United runs out
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Tottenham Hotspur vs Partizan Belgrade match report: Spurs go through in Europa League - but pitch invaders grab the attention
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'