Chris Coleman pleased with character but frustrated by result as Sunderland draw with Millwall
Chris Coleman was pleased with the character shown by his Sunderland players - but admitted he was frustrated with the result at Millwall.
Sunderland took the lead in the 29th minute thanks to a superb Bryan Oviedo strike but were pegged back in the second half, Millwall dominant.
The hosts got the goal they deserved in the 69th minute, Shaun Hutchinson's goal crossing the line after a goalmouth scramble.
Coleman said: "I'm pleased with the character, but frustrated by the result.
"It's a really difficult place to come but a great place to play because of the atmosphere. If you don't come here with your sleeves rolled up you're finished before you get off the bus.
"That's three three games now we've had something about us. Four games ago we'd lose that.
"I think they're nine games unbeaten, winning three on the bounce. But when you're winning 1-0, the very thing we said not to do was what we did – invited it (pressure).
"It's a little bit of a disappointment there but at least we stood up to the test and got a point, I thought we deserved a point. Maybe overall in the second half not more than a point.
"I thought there should have been a straight red card for a tackle on George Honeyman – it was a bad challenge.
"But overall it was a good scrap, a good game. You can see why they are where they are and that they've been on a good run. Neil's doing a super job – they're a good strong team, well organised and they put a lot of balls into the box.
"You have to fight against that but in the mood we were in thee or four games ago, we would have lost that.
"It's pleasing that we've shown a bit of personality and we're trying to fight and scrap our way away from where we are and that's what we'll do."
Sunderland were backed by 2,000 away supporters, fans braving the snow and sub-zero temperatures.
Coleman said: "To have that amount of support considering the weather conditions tells you about the club, really.
"You don't want to disappoint that lot when they've come all that way. I've only been here three months but I think they want to see people who care about their club and have a go. I think they'll forgive you for one or two shortcomings but not for lack of effort, and they don't forgive you if you don't care.
"But we've had a go and rolled our sleeves up for the last three games now and only got two points from it.
"At least we've come away from where we were, only turning up for 45 minutes.
"I was pleased for the fans – loads of them, making that journey in that weather – that we got a point and that they got much more of a fighting performance.
"We may have lacked a bit of quality but I've got to give Millwall credit because they closed the space down and there was no space to play in."