Reveillere reflects on missing Sunderland’s derby victory

Anthony Reveillere
Anthony Reveillere

HE misssed it all.

The emotional rollercoaster of a pulsating Tyne-Wear derby.

The wild celebrations both in the dug-out and among the 3,000 stood in the Gods, as Adam Johnson cracked a last minute winner to secure a fourth win on the spin against the Magpies.

And then the post-match scenes, as Gus Poyet’s troops performed “Klinsmann” dives on the slick St James’s pitch for the benefit of their delirious followers.

Anthony Reveillere didn’t see any of it.

While Wearside was celebrating, Reveillere was stuck in hospital undergoing tests on his Achilles after being forced to pull out during the warm-up, just 20 minutes or so before kick-off.

The French full-back’s only means of keeping tabs on events at St James’s was through the radio commentary... which he didn’t understand with his limited English.

Now, having virtually recovered from the injury which has kept him sidelined ever since, Reveillere is able to look back on the day with a smile.

“I had to leave the ground to do the tests in hospital, so I heard about the goal on the radio,” Reveillere said.

“I heard the goal, but I didn’t understand what had happened!

“I was in Newcastle, so the people at the hospital weren’t happy when Sunderland scored.

“But it was good for all our fans.

“We played a good match, with lots of chances and then to score at the end was magnificent for everyone.

“It was a good victory, and now the objective is to get more wins.”

Reveillere had been eager to make his derby debut after he was a veteran of the fierce Lyon-St Etienne local tussle in his homeland.

But he is philosophical about missing out on the victory over Newcastle.

The 35-year-old’s primary concern is to return to the fold after completing a fortnight of full training, since shaking off his injury troubles.

“The rehab has gone well without any fresh injuries,” said the former France international.

“Now I’m training to get back to 100 per cent.

“I think I’d taken a couple of knocks against West Ham, the week before the derby.

“I wasn’t able to train fully during the week leading up to the game.

“I love derbies and I was enjoying the atmosphere.

“I’ve played in games like St Etienne and Lyon in France which is similar, so it was disappointing I missed the match.

“But that’s football. These things happen. You just have to come back from them.

“I’m not 100 per cent yet, but I hope it won’t be long before I’m playing again.”

Sunderland’s big problem has been a failure to build on their derby success, with just one point from the subsequent four Premier League outings.

They face an uphill task to turn that slump around this weekend at sixth place Spurs - a side packed with familiar faces for Reveillere.

“We’ve only got one point since Newcastle,” said Reveillere, who could be on the bench at White Hart Lane.

“When I think about the Boxing Day defeat to Hull, I don’t know how we didn’t win.

“But I’m sure if we can get back to the determination we were showing, we’ll be okay.

“I know (Hugo) Lloris after playing alongside him at Lyon for three or four years.

“He’s a great keeper.

“I also know (Younes) Kaboul and (Etienne) Capoue from the France squad.

“They’re a good team. I know they lost their last league match at Crystal Palace, but they’d had some good results before then.”