Sunderland goalkeeper Marton Fulop hopes his clanger at Anfield will not cost him his first-team spot against his former club Tottenham at the weekend. Fulop's mistake allowed Yossi Benayoun to score Liverpool's second goal in the 2-0 victory on Tuesday.
The Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia refused to condemn Fulop, who palmed out a David Ngog hook straight to Benayoun. Sbragia said: "I'm not going to blame Marton. He has been great for us recently, but I don't think he will be watching their second goal over and over again. He knows he made a mistake, he paid the penalty and we conceded. The second one killed us off."
The Hungarian-born Fulop, who joined Sunderland for £500,000 from Spurs two years ago, has kept his place despite Craig Gordon's recovery from injury. Fulop said: "I will have to look at the video to judge exactly what happened with the second goal. I don't know if I should have stayed on my line or perhaps punched it. I tried to catch the cross, but it was a bit too long.
"I misjudged it and Liverpool scored. This is the goalkeeper's life. It is the manager's decision now for Spurs. I will prepare like I'm number one and am playing. If he wants to change it, I will have to deal with that. But I felt good in the game. I made a mistake and, against a good team particularly, it costs you."
Sbragia was disappointed with Sunderland's second-half display after they had frustrated Liverpool during a goalless first period. He said: "We were pleased with the first 45 minutes, we stopped them scoring and created a few decent chances ourselves. We told the players at half-time not to concede an early goal in the second half. But that is what happened and from then on it becomes very difficult.
"We had to change the system, to go 4-4-2, but that gave them the space for their second goal and that is what killed us off. Kenwyne Jones was disappointed he missed an early chance. It certainly would have made it a different game had we gone 1-0 up.
"We are not safe from relegation and we felt we could produce another result like the draw we managed at Arsenal recently. But you have to be ruthless with chances," added Sbragia.