Hatters were never going to Black Cats for a point according to Bradley

Town defender Sonny Bradley denied his side had set out to be satisfied with a point at fellow promotion-chasers Sunderland on Saturday.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:53 pm
Sonny Bradley looks for options against Sunderland

After manager Nathan Jones left the club to join Stoke in the week before the game, some fans headed to the Stadium of Light with trepidation over what to expect from their side.

Although they did end up with a 1-1 draw, Bradley didn't feel they had settled for such an outcome prior to kick-off, with home keeper Jon McLaughlin making a string of fine saves, his best from visiting striker James Collins.

He said: “No, not really, not the way we play and how confident we were.

“We wanted three points. Looking back, how the game panned out, I think, yes we probably do the take point now, but we think we’re better than them, so we wanted the three points.

“That’s just our attitude, that’s the way we want to play. We imposed ourselves on the game, we could have easily come here, with the way the week’s gone, gone into our shell a bit, but Mick’s (Harford) got us going this week and straight away from the first whistle we’ve tried to play football.

“We’ve created some really good chances and I think we were unlucky not to be two or three-one up at half time.

“We’ve done ourselves proud, from the first minute we’ve tried to play football, we tried to play our style, impose ourselves on the game, and over the course of the 95 minutes we’ve been the better team.

“We created the better chances and their keeper is probably the man of the match which probably tells a story.

"On a different day, the chances go in and we probably win that game three or four nil, but it hasn’t happened.

"They’ve scored a goal which we weren’t too happy with and then we were on the back foot.

"We had to come out second half and put a performance on, think that’s exactly what we did."

Town got themselves back on level terms when Collins converted from the penalty spot on 68 minutes when Danny Hylton had been fouled inside the area.

However, Hylton's straight red card not too long afterwards halted the Hatters' realistic victory hopes, as Bradley continued: "When it was 11 v 11, they’ve hardly touched the ball, hardly been near our goal, so we knew chances were going to come.

"I think it’s a clear penalty and Collo’s slotted it away and that's 1-1. We said at half time, if we get the equaliser we’d go on to win the game.

"Our tails were up and I think if it had stayed 11 v 11, we’d have been nailed on for three points, but it hasn’t happened.

"Hylton sent off changed the dynamic of the game, all of a sudden they’re seeing a lot more of the ball.

"But then still, we stayed narrow, stayed compact, forced them wide and me and Matty Pearson are more than happy for you to cross balls into the box from wherever you want, as we feel confident to clear our lines every single time, and that’s what we’ve done today."

Sporting a big bruise on his forehead was testament to Bradley's determination to keep the Black Cats out, as he said: "We really had to battle hard and I’ve got a little scar on my head.

"A corner came in and because we have to mark zonal, we have to attack the ball and you’ve just got to take everything sometimes.

"I’ve tried to and I think Matty Pearson’s thought exactly the same thing.

"We got there at the same time and I’ve headbutted the back of Matty Pearson’s head.

"I can tell you now, there’s one person you don’t want to headbutt is Matty Pearson, but I think we were the better team on the day."

Bradley was quick to praise Town's marvellous travelling support of over 3,000 followers who made the way to Wearside, adding: "They were absolutely outstanding.

"I’d never been here before, and I didn’t know where they going to be.

"So when we came out for the warm up, I was thinking, 'where’s our lot?'

"I looked up and could see them all up there, certainly from the first whistle you could hear them straight away.

"They’ve been absolutely brilliant, they’ve travelled well all season and they deserve that point.

"I’d have been bitterly disappointed for them to come all this way to go away with nothing, especially when we were the better team.

"They’ve just got to stick with us, whatever’s happened, the guaranteed one thing is that the fans will be exactly the same.

"They’ll back us all the way and we need that for the rest of the season.

"So keep doing what we’re doing, we back ourselves and I don’t see any reason why we can’t go up.