Fixture Congestion Concerns McCarthy

The prospect of a congested fixture list concerns the Sunderland manager as his side bid to make up the deficit on the promotion pack.

"A replay was the one thing I wanted to avoid,'' lamented the Black Cats boss.

"We now face the prospect of playing nine games in 27 days and that will probably mean the players walking on the beach, swimming or having a sauna instead of training.

"But I was very pleased with the performance. There was a lot of hard running, honest endeavour - I get that all the time – and there was some good football played and I thought we were the better team in the first half.

"They scored a great goal, we got an equaliser then hit the bar, but as the game wore on the contest became more even, as you would expect when playing against a Premiership side.

"It was a game we could have won but I'm not saying I am sick because we haven't. Neither goalkeeper has been peppered with shots."