Connor finds 'delight' in a true bore draw

Sunderland 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0: Wolves manager accentuates the positive but eight-point gap to safety shows need for miracle

the Stadium of light

The word "delighted" was uttered in the immediate aftermath of this game, and it was uttered by a manager. That raised a few eyebrows.

Perhaps the slimness of the pickings Terry Connor has had to sift through offered an explanation. By the time Mike Jones drew relief and then some jeers from home supporters by blowing the final whistle, Connor had his second point since he picked up the poisoned chalice that was offered to him by Jez Moxey and Steve Morgan.

Perhaps it is something in the North-eastern air, because that other drawn game was at St James' Park back in February. Maybe the word "delighted" came because Connor's side had kept a clean sheet, something Wolverhampton Wanderers had not done for 31 games.

The clean sheet – and this was hardly an arduous game for either defence – ensured a point that made the gap between bottom [Wolves] and fourth-bottom [Wigan] eight points with four games left.

The sight of just 600 supporters for a side with a traditionally good following was proof that Wolves' fans do not expect a miracle of the greatest proportions the game has ever seen.

Still, Connor said: "We're delighted to get a point and keep a clean sheet. With a bit more quality finishing, we could have won all three. The most important thing was to take something from the game. The last three weeks we've actually played well and probably not got the rewards we should have had.

"They are a very honest and hardworking bunch. They've been brought up that way since they came into the club. They've kept working and taking leads in games and made errors at the wrong time. Today we could have nicked it with a goal at the end.

"We will keep going to the very end, that is me, the players and the club. I told them to be competitive in 38 games, and all of them mean something. We can still stay up, so the pressure is not off."

With a minute remaining, David Edwards stabbed a half-hearted volley wide, creating a stir of sorts on the visiting bench, but aside from a goal disallowed before it went in and a shot in the 10th minute from Anthony Forde, there was little to suggest that anyone (aside from Connor) believes Wolves will not be back in the Championship next season.

Sunderland slipped into ninth place with this point and there were kind words for Martin O'Neill from Ellis Short, the owner and chairman, in the programme.

Still, O'Neill, ever the realist, said: "We didn't do enough, and it was frustrating in that sense. It's been a great effort by the players. I have to keep reminding myself of the bigger picture. I think it's been a terrific effort but because it's Wolves, who are struggling, people are expecting us to win the game, but it doesn't work out like that.

"Now is the time to press on and perhaps it might show that we have got a lot of work to do. We want to progress. We have pulled ourselves around from potential relegation. We want to improve. We will certainly have a look at it [strengthening]. It might be in the last couple of games we might be able to start other young players and have some sort of look at them but we need to strengthen. The crowd want to come, they generally want to get behind the team and you have to do something to get them behind the team.

"It's very nice of [the owner] to say so, it's getting back to a reality check. We've done really fine, but we have to keep it going, keep a bit of momentum going and don't let it drop. Today, we didn't create enough in the game. That is something we have to take into consideration."

He was not "delighted" then – reassuringly.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, Kilgallon, Richardson; Larsson, Gardner (Campbell 76), Colback, McClean; Sessegnon, Bendtner.

Wolves (4-4-2): Hennessey; Foley (Zubar 82), Stearman, Berra, Ward; Kightly (Edwards 76), Davies, Henry, Forde (Jarvis 62); Fletcher, Ebanks-Blake.

Referee Mike Jones.

Man of the match Colback (Sunderland).

Match rating 1/10.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
football
Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
News
Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
News
Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
newsLiz Kendall: profile
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?