Keane hails players
Sunderland boss Roy Keane praised his players' character after their crucial 1-0 victory over Derby.
Last Updated: 01/12/07 10:02pm
Sunderland manager Roy Keane praised his players' character after their crucial 1-0 victory over Derby on Saturday.
A last-gasp winner from substitute Anthony Stokes was enough to seal the victory and open up a seven-point gap on the Rams.
Speaking after the game, Keane said he was "very pleased" with the reaction of his players after last weekend's 7-1 drubbing by Everton.
"I don't think it will be a classic, I don't think there'll be too many highlights to look at but we dug in and a great result for us," said Keane, who made five changes to his starting line-up but said he could have possibly made 11 changes from last weekend.
"I got it wrong last week and maybe I got a few calls right this weekend.
"We haven't got the biggest squad in the world so the lads that we call upon have done a very good job today," he said, pointing out that the goal came from substitute Stokes and was set up by fellow substitute Liam Miller.
"I am delighted with the contribution of the lads who came back in," he said, adding: "It is certainly better than last weekend - at least I can leave my house this weekend!
"But maybe we just earned that little bit of luck.
"I'm sure Paul Jewell will feel a little bit unlucky. They had one or two half chances. Our goalkeeper made a great save but then Kenwyne has a chance from two yards and hits the post.
"So it probably had nil-nil written all over it. So credit to my players - their character, they kept going.
"As you said, the lads I brought back into the team did very, very well. I am delighted with all of them."
He added it was a massive bonus for the Black Cats to keep a clean sheet.
"Once you've got a clean sheet, you've a chance. We will always maybe nick a goal because we have got good attacking players and you saw that today.
"So that was the big bonus today, I think, with the clean sheet. That is all credit to the players, they kept going forward and we do get people in the box. We got a bit of luck today."
Keane added the victory "was a big result for us".
"Maybe at the end of the season we will look back and say that was a big turning point, we hope anyway.
"But having said that, we have got Chelsea next week so we need to get ready for that," he said.