Southampton 8 Sunderland 0: 'We should pay for fans' wasted trip,' says Vito Mannone after 650-mile round-trip ends in humiliation

Sunderland keeper asks team-mates to fork out after humiliation at St Mary’s

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The Independent Football

Vito Mannone, the Sunderland goalkeeper, plans to ask his team-mates to join him in reimbursing the travel and ticket expenses of supporters who made the 650-mile round trip to watch their team thrashed 8-0 by Southampton on Saturday. And there are not many in the dressing room who should feel entitled to keep their wallets shut.

Mannone admitted that Sunderland “threw in the towel” in a game they started well before being undone by a series of laughable defensive errors. That is a damning indictment of professionals who earn – if that is the right word – so much more than nearly any of their fans.

“I will personally talk to the team to see if it is possible to pay [for the fans’] tickets and their trip,” Mannone said. “We should do it because we didn’t put our foot [in], we didn’t work hard. We started the game well but after we conceded we threw in the towel – and I include myself.

“We have to remember how embarrassed we felt and take some anger from this game into the next one [at home to Arsenal on Saturday] and produce a performance. We have to do it for ourselves, for the club and for our great fans as well that came all that way.”

Mannone and company can be sure they will have every assistance in the anger department at training this week. Gus Poyet, the Sunderland manager, who labelled the defeat “the most embarrassing time I’ve had in a football pitch”, said he could almost understand the errors that led to the first two goals but not the collective dropping of heads and lack of game intelligence that turned a defeat into a rout. And he hinted darkly that he had “learned a lot about some players, about which ones you can count on when things don’t go your way”.

 

Poyet said: “From me to the last player, everybody needs to look at themselves and ask if they did right or wrong. When you are on the pitch it’s not like in tennis or golf, where you play on your own. It’s a team thing. You need to react together, to defend together. At 4-0 or 5-0 down it’s not easy but there is no place to hide.”

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Poyet personally refused to hide behind the decision of the referee not to award a penalty for Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster’s collision with Steven Fletcher, a possible game-changer at 2-0.

“I hate excuses,” he said. “When that happened I thought it was not going to be our day but not as bad as this. It hurts because I hate losing 1-0. Imagine eight.

“It’s going to be an interesting week, I can tell you that. Every day [there] is something to learn but when everything is good it’s very easy. You need to be there when things are going against you and it’s very difficult.”

Ronald Koeman, the Southampton manager, will have to bring his players down off Cloud Eight in time to face a Stoke City side who will surely pose a stiffer challenge than Poyet’s men. But the Dutchman must be looking forward to unleashing again the mutual admiration society of Graziano Pelle, brought with him from Feyenoord, and Dusan Tadic, signed from FC Twente, and an opponent Pelle had always wanted on his side. “When I was in Holland, I had a question: which player would you like to play with,” Pelle said. “I said: Dusan.”

Tadic laid on four Southampton goals and scored another in Saturday’s stroll in the park; Pelle scored two.

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