Football - O'Neill heartened by performance

Martin O'Neill was understandably disappointed by Sunderland's 1-0 defeat at home to Manchester United, but was heartened at the way his players responded in the second half.

PA Sport

The win was secured by Titus Bramble's 27th-minute own goal, and although the Black Cats, who have now not won in eight games, rallied after a lacklustre first-half display, they rarely looked like snatching a point.

Bramble can count himself unfortunate - Robin van Persie's shot clipped full-back Phil Bardsley and looked to be flying wide until it hit his knee and nestled inside the far post.

O'Neill said with a smile: "I am as buoyant now as - I was nearly going to say as I have always been.

"What is it - the half-full or the half-empty glass? I'm even going to the three-quarters full.

"There's a real determination in the dressing room. The players are obviously disappointed, but they can take a lot from the second half.

"Yes, there is a determination about the players in there that we can do it."

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