Albion Star Praised Yet Rued – Reaction as SAFC Drop More Points

The Stadium of Light witnessed it's first goalless draw of the season yesterday as West Brom visited Wearside. While the draw left Sam Allardyce frustrated, Tony Pulis heads back to the Midlands delighted with a point that all but guarantees Premier League survival.

Sam Allardyce was full of praise for his troops after yesterday’s goalless draw, citing it as the best performance since he replaced Dick Advocaat in the Wearside dugout. The former Bolton and West Ham manager was under no illusions as to which side went into the game trying to pick up the three points. Speaking to Sky Sports, Allardyce said:

“It has been a magnificent performance here at the Stadium of Light and a very special performance in terms of how we committed to try and win this game”

“To look at the stats will tell everybody just how dominant we were and, unfortunately for us, in this precarious position having not won it by dominating so much and creating so many chances, it is very difficult to take and leaves us in a very difficult position”

“It is the best performance of the season since I've been here, there is no doubt about that and I believe, and I hope the players believe, if they continue in that vein that we will win more than we draw or lose from now until the end of the season”

For Baggies boss Tony Pulis, however, there was only one thing on his mind. For all his side’s willingness to travel to a side deep in relegation trouble and defend their solitary point, West Brom have now achieved the magic 40 point mark. While not mathematically certain, it will surely be enough to see Premier League football return to the Hawthornes next year. Talking to the BBC, Pulis said:

“I was concerned today, I think the players thought we were safe - but we showed that wherever we go, we're West Bromwich Albion and we give a performance. We must never lose that doggedness that I love as a coach”

For all Sunderland’s dominance, however, Jermain Defoe and co. were unable to breach Ben Foster’s goal, with the England international praised by both managers following his heroics between the sticks. Tony Pulis described him as ‘fantastic’, while Sam Allardyce refused to be too hard on his strikers.

“We should have secured the three points; we haven't. I suppose we have to say the finishing touches let us down but Ben Foster was just outstanding and the inches, as Al Pacino said, were the wrong side for us”

“The inches on the wrong side of the post rather than the right side of the post might have got us a goal and then the inches when we finally scored was that our player was offside not onside, which would have given us a richly deserved victory today”

Sunderland’s failure to capitalise left Big Sam seeking divine intervention, joking:

"I think I need to go back to church and start praying or something like that," he said.  "I'm not quite sure what I need to do because I can't ever imagine in my long career dominating a game for so long, creating so many chances and actually not winning it”

Younes Kaboul similarly praised his teammates and Ben Foster. The former Tottenham man said to Sky Sports:

“If they didn’t have their keeper as good as he was today we should have won this game at least 2-0. We showed desire, a good mentality, just needed a goal to win this game”

“They had a brilliant goalkeeper today, it was his day”

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