The recent number of matches and the exertion nearly cost Sunderland a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup according to the manager Martin O’Neill. Sunderland took on Bolton Wanderers in the third round of the FA Cup.

The match was played at the Reebok stadium, which made it difficult for Sunderland because their away form has been poor this season. Bolton recently changed managers after a poor start to the season, and they made a great start to the match. They had a two-goal lead after 50 min on the clock through goals from Chung-Yong Lee and Sordell.

This meant that Sunderland were in danger of being knocked out of the competition in the third round itself, but a remarkable second-half comeback meant that Sunderland have been able to take the game into a replay that will take place at the Stadium of Light. In order to cope with the demand the fixture list, Bolton made a number of changes to the team. As a result, they were significantly fresh in the match and made a good start. Wickham and Gardner helped equalise the match for Sunderland, who have been struggling for form and consistency in the Premier league as well.

“Bolton made a few changes with players who were a bit more fresh than us. But, having said that, we have given away the goal. It took ages for us to properly recover from that and what you don’t want to do is go out of the competition meekly. But when Connor came on his contribution was great. The goal will have given him a big lift but I had thought of starting with him,” said O’Neill. Sunderland have just two victories in the last five matches as a result of this draw, and they sit 14th in the Premier league.