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The defender has endured a tough time since moving to the Stadium of Light two years ago, but was happy to make his first league appearance of the season in the 0-0 draw with QPR

Matthew Kilgallon admits that he has found life difficult since moving to Sunderland two years ago, and says that he has learnt to be patient during his time on the sidelines.

The former Sheffield United man made his first Premier League appearance of the season as a substitute against QPR on Tuesday, and was satisfied after helping his side to their fourth clean sheet of the season.

Kilgallon told the Shields Gazette: “It’s been hard for me at Sunderland really.

“But I just try to do my best when given my chance, that’s all I can do. I just have to take it game-by-game.

“I thought I did all right on Tuesday night considering I hadn’t played all season.

“I felt fit and sharp, and that’s down to the training the staff put on for us. They make it hard.

“But although keeping sharp’s all right, there’s nothing like a proper Premier League game. It’s match fitness more than anything that you need.”

The stalemate against QPR was The Black Cats’ second match without a win at the Stadium of Light in four days, and their failure to score means that they have now only hit the back of the net 12 times in 13 league games.

However, Kilgallon insists that this lacklustre return is not just down to the attacking players, and has encouraged the whole team to chip in with goals.
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“At least we got a clean sheet, which is always your job as the back four,” added the 28-year-old defender.

“But everyone’s got to help create chances, it’s not just the widemen or the strikers.

“When we go up for corners, we’ve got to get our heads on things as well. It’s a team thing.

“It was always going to be a difficult game against QPR. They had the new manager in so they were going to be up for it and they’ve got some good players there as well.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t win, but points are vital and at least we’ve got one.

“In the second half against West Brom we showed some real fight and we could have nicked something in the end.

“The goals we conceded were a bit freaky – Simon [Mignolet] made a mistake which he never does and then there was the penalty that wasn’t.

“But we can’t get too down about things.”

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