Martin O’Neill said it would take £35 million to find the goalscorer that Sunderland need to put away the opportunities they create after claiming a non-league defender would have been more prolific against Chelsea.
O’Neill rued the “five good chances” his team spurned in the 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, only the second loss since the Northern Irishman took over.
“A blundering full-back from four leagues below could have put some of those in,” moaned O’Neill in his post-match press conference, highlighting the chances wasted by Nickas Bendtner and Craig Gardner. “We missed five good chances today. That is too many. I know scoring a goal is pretty difficult but it is not that difficult.
“I have seen Craig Gardner stick those balls in so many times. I thought he would score. The Nicklas Bendtner one at the end - if he had put it on target it would have gone straight in the net.
“We haven’t got somebody who could get 20 goals a season for us. I won’t be racing out to buy someone like that as he would only cost £35m.”
O’Neill praised the excellent second-half display of young winger James McLean but was unhappy that his team did not share the points.
He said: “When you consider that Chelsea were overwhelmed at the final whistle to win the game, you can take some consolation, but it gnaws away that we didn’t get something out of the game when we deserved it.”