Describing the Stadium of Light as a tough place to go, Greg Cunningham felt Preston North End’s point taken from Saturday’s 0-0 draw was a solid one.
The defender played 90 minutes as neither PNE or Sunderland could find the elusive opener, despite both sides having presentable opportunities on the day.
Ben Whiteman and Jordan Storey both had efforts cleared off the line, while the likes of Patrick Roberts and Elliot Embleton came close for the hosts.
Speaking to iFollow PNE, Greg said: “We’ve had two cleared off the line; we’ve had a few half-chances again today.
“We restricted them as much as we could, understanding their real attacking threat [because] they play some good football, and Tony Mowbray’s got them playing a really attractive and attacking style.
“It’s again just making sure we keep the back door closed and on the flip side then trying to go and get some goals.
“We’ve had two cleared off the line, for Whitey’s [Ben Whiteman’s] strike, it was an unbelievable clearance. It’s a solid point on the road.”
Greg was one of four changes made from the last Championship game, against Sheffield United, replacing Andrew Hughes who missed out through illness.
There was also a bit of rotation made by Ryan Lowe, with Alan Browne starting at right wing back, while Robbie Brady and Emil Riis lined up behind striker Ched Evans.
Greg said: “We didn’t want to come here and fall back into a back five, so it was a case where it was three for three, and it was a bit – I’m not going to say stretched – but a bit more open at the back.
“I felt as a whole we dealt with the threat as much as we could. It was just a case then of building that foundation in the game and trying to go and get it.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get the full three points, but it’s a good point away from home, at a tough place to come.
“There’s 41,000 here today and an amazing away following as always so we’re very grateful for that.
“They travelled up the road; it’s not the easiest journey to make.
“2,500 is a great following and 40,000 home fans, but the ones you could hear the most were the away [fans], so like I said it’s a credit to them as fans of this club and we’re very grateful for their support.”
Moving on from Sunderland, next up for PNE is a home game against West Brom in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Wednesday evening.
That encounter will be the second of eight games in a busy October, and it’s a batch of fixtures which Greg wants North End to make the most of.
He said: “We’ve got some games coming up thick and fast, but that’s the Championship in general.
“We need to make sure we can capitalise on the games. The next game is at home against West Brom and we’ll set up accordingly for that fixture, and hopefully go and get that home win.
“Then we’ll take it from there with a lot of fixtures coming up and it’d be naïve of me to say that we haven’t looked at that block, but at the same time we’ll take every game as it comes and that’s West Brom now on Wednesday night.”