Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn has hailed his side’s display in the FA Cup clash against Sunderland on Sunday, and believes his team can take encouragement from it going forward.
The game was ultimately settled by a strike from Sunderland full back Patrick van Aanholt, ensuring that the Wearside club secured a 1-0 victory.
That scoreline was exactly the same as the last time the two sides faced off in the FA Cup – the famous 1973 cup final which saw lowly Sunderland beat Don Revie’s glorious Leeds side, considered to be one of the best in Europe at that point.
While Sunderland dominated the first half, Leeds had the better of proceedings in the second period.
The Whites saw Brazilian Adryan Tavares have a shot saved only 45 seconds after the restart.
Defender Liam Cooper, who was given the captain’s armband in the wake of Stephen Warnock’s injury, hit the post with a header in added time.
Redfearn believes his side played well, and has taken the positives from the game.
“I thought it was an outstanding performance, particularly in the second half,” said Redfearn.
“I thought we made it a cup tie in the second half, we really got about Sunderland and we competed.
“I thought we passed the ball well throughout but we carried much more of a threat in the second half.
“We got in front of their goal a lot, hit the post, Adryan had a great chance and really we should probably be looking at progressing through the tie and having at least a replay.
“I’m frustrated with the result but the performance is really heartening.”