BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Football: Eng Prem  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Teams
Statistics
FA Cup
Eng Prem
Internationals
Champions League
Uefa Cup
Eng Div 1
Eng Div 2
Eng Div 3
Eng Conf
Scot Prem
Scottish Cup
Scot Div 1
Scot Div 2
Scot Div 3
Europe
Africa
League of Wales
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Sunday, 2 February, 2003, 11:45 GMT
Wilkinson stays positive
Howard Wilkinson
Wilkinson saw his side concede three first-half goals
Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson refused to accept the inevitablity of relegation, despite seeing his side slump to their eighth home defeat.

Two own goals from Michael Proctor helped Charlton to a comfortable 3-1 win at the Stadium of Light and sent the Black Cats to the bottom of the Premiership for the first time this season.

We knew the first goal would be all-important

Charlton manager
Alan Curbishley

But Wilkinson said Sunderland's improved second-half performance, backed by sustained cheering from the home contingent, was at least a sign that they had banished their fears of playing at home.

"I genuinely think we will get out of it," Wilkinson said.

"It was a disappointing result but there were some important positives out of the match. At least we have got rid of this playing at the Stadium of Light problem."

Charlton headed in at half-time with a three-goal lead thanks to a deflected Mark Fish shot and Proctor's unfortunate double - one off his boot and one off his back.

But Wilkinson said the Sunderland fans could have a huge part to play for the rest of the season.

"For the first time since I arrived I have really started to see what people meant when they talked about the Sunderland fans," he said.

"In the second half, helped by the fans and despite the bad luck, we didn't capitulate."

Kevin Phillips steps up to score a penalty
Phillips' penalty gave Sunderland fans something to cheer

Kevin Phillips' penalty gave the supporters some hope but Charlton boss Alan Curbishley said the first goal had been decisive.

"We came into this game knowing the pressure Sunderland were under and we knew the first goal would be all-important," said Curbishley.

"How the match turned out was uncanny. Mark Fish will be claiming the first goal as his - at least his shot was goal-bound."

Charlton are now established in the top half of the Premiership but Curbishley chose not to look too far ahead.

"Our run has been fantastic - we have had nine wins, five draws and three defeats. If you are winning and feeling confident results seem to come your way," he said.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson
"Never in my time have I seen something like that"
Latest news from the Premiership

Sunday's games

Saturday's games

Have your say

PREMIERSHIP STATS
Click here for all the latest from the My Club section

News and Statistics

Daily club news
Click here for all the latest from the My Club section

News and Statistics

Match coverage

Daily club news
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Eng Prem stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales