Steve Evans on 'exceptional' Sunderland keeper, 'shocking' Bryan Oviedo and 'defensive suicide' by Peterborough
Steve Evans felt Sunderland were 'lucky' to draw against his Peterborough United side and hit out at Bryan Oviedo's 'shocking' tackle that led to an early bath.
Sunderland's 2-2 draw with promotion rivals Posh had just about everything; four goals, a red card and two sides going toe-to-toe in a fiercely competitive League One fixture.
Josh Maja netted his eighth to give Sunderland a deserved half-time lead, the Black Cats should really have been out of sight by then but were made to pay for missed chances by Jerome Sinclair and Aiden McGeady.
Oviedo was shown a straight red 20 minutes from time for a wild kick at sub Marcus Maddison, Posh then levelled through fellow sub Joe Ward before Sinclair scored to regain the lead with 79 minutes on the clock. They couldn't hold on and ex-Newcastle striker Ivan Toney equalised with just six minutes to go.
"We should have won that game," said Evans.
"We were in complete control of the second-half and when we equalised against 10 men I am sure even every Sunderland fan thought we would go on to win the game.
"But we’ve committed defensive suicide near the touchline to concede a second goal and it’s taken a sublime run, touch and finish from Ivan to get us the point.
"I’m disappointed though. They bossed the first-half and we were much better in the second-half.
"I reckon Jack Ross will be the happier manager as we played them off the park in the second half.
"We changed the way we have been playing away from home because we felt Siriki Dembele would hurt them from a position just behind the front two but he didn’t perform and as a result I sacrificed him and a very unlucky Callum Cooke at half-time.
"Their goalkeeper showed how valuable he is by making some exceptional saves.
"Sunderland is a wonderful football club with fans who are worth two goals a game with the support they give and the pressure they put on the referee. They will obviously be strong promotion contenders this season.
"It was two good teams going toe-to-toe, but they were lucky to draw."
Evans also had strong words for the reckless kick from Oviedo, adding: "The referee could only make that decision, it was a shocking challenge, the referee got that right. It was two good teams who went toe-to-toe.
"It is a hard place to get anything and we think Sunderland will challenge for promotion, so credit to the group. This is a great place and the fans are great, they are so good they get so many decisions for them."