VITO MANNONE wants Sunderland’s players to issue a refund from their own pockets to compensate the 2,600 supporters who travelled to the Southampton shambles.
The Black Cats suffered the joint heaviest defeat in their history at St Mary’s on Saturday after a pathetic second half capitulation against the high-flying Saints.
Both players and Sunderland boss Gus Poyet spoke of their embarrassment at the conclusion of the 8-0 mauling after the Black Cats had previously boasted the joint second best defensive record in the Premier League.
But goalkeeper Mannone wants to go further by arranging a refund for the cost of tickets and travel to those who made the 660-mile round-trip to the south coast after many supporters remained until the conclusion of the harrowing defeat to still applaud the team off.
“I will personally talk to the team to see if it is possible to pay their tickets and their trip. It is difficult for us but it’s very difficult for them as well,” said Mannone.
“They are special fans. We are really lucky to be at this club and have these fans.
“If it was me, I would probably not react in the same way.
“I can only be proud to wear this shirt.
“I need to do my best and each one of us in the team should do our best to make them feel proud of this club and not have 8-0 defeats.
“I really mean that we should pay their tickets and travel. I will do everything possible.
“We should do it because we didn’t put our foot in, we didn’t work hard.
“We started the game well but after we conceded, we threw in the towel and I include myself in that. “
Mannone says Sunderland’s players need to remember the feeling at the conclusion of the rout and channel that into producing a response in next Saturday’s Stadium of Light clash against Arsenal.
But ahead of the meeting against his former club, Mannone stresses that despite the margin of defeat, it is only one game which Sunderland have lost. “At the end of the day, we lost 8-0 but we didn’t lose eight games 1-0,” added the Italian.
“Let’s take it on the chin and go again because we have another 30 games.
“We have to remember how embarrassed we felt and feel embarrassed for ourselves and take some anger from this game into the next one and produce a performance.
“It was a low point for anyone and possibly the biggest embarrassment for the team since I’ve been here. It was a difficult afternoon but we need to react.
“We have to do it for ourselves, for the club and for our great fans as well that came all that way.
“I can only really remember conceding that many goals in training, it happens.
“I take all the responsibility I can take for each goal. I will try to work on it and try to improve.
“Each one of us should do the same, to try to defend and be in a game properly as a unit. Each one of us knows there were mistakes on the field.
“We have many opportunities in front of us and we can’t let ourselves down, or feel sorry for ourselves in the next game.”