Sunderland stalemate is a 'reality check' for boss O'Neill

Black Cats boss calls on his players to "tidy up" their act after his team are booed off by some fans in a disappointing contest with Wolves
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill expressed frustration after his team failed to overcome relegation-threatened Wolves in what he described as a “reality check”.

O’Neill lamented his team’s shortcomings after Sunderland were held by the bottom of the table side in a dour contest on Wearside that saw his team move into ninth place in the Premier League.

He spoke out after club owner Ellis Short had lauded his manager in the match-day programme and spoken of his top-six aspirations for the club only for many fans to greet the final whistle with boos.

"We did not do enough to win the game and it was frustrating in that sense," O’Neill told reporters.

"We had little moments here and there but not for any prolonged periods of the game. We should do more. I know that it as been a great effort by the players and I keep reminding myself about the bigger picture but overall we should be able to do better.

"It’s very nice of him [Short] to say but we just got a reality check. Those are the words I am probably searching for. We have done really fine but we have to keep it going, keep the momentum going and don’t let it drop and today we did not create enough and that is frustrating."

As for the boos from home fans, he added: "Nothing really surprises me. I think it has been a terrific effort but then perhaps because it it is Wolves who who have been struggling and maybe people would expect us to be able to win the game. 

"I wish it was just as easy as that. It doesn’t work out like that.

"I remind myself of the last time we played Wolves and for us to have turned the tables round then obviously I am very pleased but you can’t keep going on. We have done that.

"Now is the time to press on. Perhaps it might show that we have got a lot of work to do. The crowd come here and genuinely want to get behind the team but you have to do something to get them behind you and today we frustrated ourselves a bit. 

"We have a few passes together and then the fourth pass goes astray and that happens too often and becomes frustrating. We need to tidy ourselves up."

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