Sunderland's Duncan Watmore won't be haunted by missed chance at Liverpool
Duncan Watmore may not get a better chance to score at Anfield.
But the Sunderland star says he will not be haunted by his missed opportunity midway through the second half against Liverpool.
And the 22-year-old says all his and the team’s efforts are focused on building on the momentum generated in November and carry it into the first fixture of December, at home to champions Leicester on Saturday.
Watmore looked ‘in’ on goal at the away end, only for a heavy touch to take him too wide and while he did superbly to get the ball back into the danger area, Liverpool scrambled clear.
“It was a very good chance and we worked hard to get that chance, and I’d have loved to have scored it,” said the wide player.
“But you have to make sure it doesn’t play on your mind, and instead concentrate on improving your own game so that next time you do take that chance when it comes along.
“When you’ve got someone like JD in the team, he’s not a bad person to learn from because finishing is his game.
“I definitely need to improve in that respect and that’s what we do on the training pitch.”
Watmore’s honesty is refreshing, as his desire to better himself.
And the England Under-21 star says the whole side is desperate to maintain the form they have shown in back-to-back wins over Bournemouth and Hull, plus that battling 2-0 defeat to the Reds.
“Like any team, it helps when you are winning,” he said. “You have that momentum and the last few performances have shown that.
“When you have back-to-back wins in the Premier League it helps, it’s a shame we couldn’t do it at Liverpool.
“But we held them for the best part of the 75 minutes and frustrated them, which is what we set out to do, it was a shame, ultimately, we couldn’t get the result, but we’ll go again.”
Sadly for Sunderland, they slipped back to the bottom, following Swansea’s dramatic 5-4 win over Crystal Palace.
It has taken a while but David Moyes and his team seem to have turned a corner following a traumatic start to the season.
“I think it takes time,” said Watmore. “We perhaps didn’t expect it to take this long and that’s a shame.
“We know we are not in a good position, we need to sort ourselves out in that respect.
“But any new team and manager with new players takes time to bond.
“We’ve been getting used to the manager and his style of play.
“Hopefully now we are seeing what the team can do now people are used to each other and used to each other’s games
“Back-to-back wins showed we are clicking and we’ve got to make sure we show that it’s not a one-off and we move forward and we carry this on.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was less than complimentary towards Sunderland following their brave resistance at Anfield, describing them as the “most defensive team” he had played.
Instead of being stung by such criticism, Watmore says the Black Cats were proud.
“Obviously it would have been nice to complete the defensive performance with a clean sheet,” he said. “Liverpool are a very good team who play good football, but we frustrated them for a very long time and we can take positives from that.”
Watmore had praise for Ged McNamee after the club announced the academy director was stepping down after two decades in the role.
The ex-Hartlepool United player not only played a key role in signing Watmore, from Altrincham, he brought through talents like the two Jordans, Pickford and Henderson.
“Yes, he was fantastic with me,” he said “All the Sunderland academy and that side of things were fantastic, they have a great group of guys.
“I had a very good relationship with Ged and he was very instrumental in bringing me to the club so I am very grateful for that.”