Sunderland 1 Wigan 1: Sorry Black Cats try keeping up with Jones

08 February 2010 12:46
Sunderland supporters can count Kenwyne Jones' efficient games in his three seasons at the Stadium of Light on one hand. They can count the games he has played at full pelt this season on one finger.

At last he was almost unplayable on Saturday, but it was not just the well-taken equaliser to cancel out Mohammed Diame's thumping first Wigan goal which caught the eye nor the inadvertent block to keep out Darren Bent's injury-time shot which would have sealed three valuable points.

Pure delight: Mohamed Diame is ecstatic after firing Wigan a goal up against troubled Sunderland

He powered past four men on one occasion, only to be denied by thepost. He held the ball up, linked with Bent, harried, sprinted andtackled. He even smiled at one point.

One of Steve Bruce's priorities is getting this type of performanceout of Jones regularly. Bruce just needs him to do it for the remaining14 games of the season to avoid the looming threat of relegation.

Bruce said: 'We got a reaction out of Kenwyne which was terrific.We've been waiting to see it for a while. That's what we want. When heplays like that, we're a better team.'

Keeping up with the Jones: Sunderland's Kenwyne Jones rises to head home

But Sunderland have lost Jordan Henderson, the academy graduate whohas hardly missed a game since Bruce arrived but was carried off withankle ligament damage. Scans on Monday will determine how long he isabsent.

'I hope it's not the end of his season, for his sake and ours,' Bruce said.

Over and out: Sunderland's Jordan Henderson is stretchered off injured and could now miss the rest of the season

'The kid was in a bad way when I saw him. He's had a terrific startand he'll be a big loss because arguably he's been our best player.'

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was content with a point, although ifCharles N'Zogbia and James McCarthy had shown more composure in frontof goal, Wigan would have clinched only their second win in 10.

Not this time: Darren Bent runs past Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Chris Kirkland but fails to score

If he can survive, Martinez's biggest battle may be keeping his squad together.

  He said: 'We have made it clear we didn't want to lose our bestperformers like Hugo Rodallega, N'Zogbia and Maynor Figueroa, but therewill be a moment they need to move to the next level. But it has to bethe right deal for Wigan. We will re-invest and bring in players.'

MATCH FACTSSunderland (4-4-2): Gordon 6; Hutton 6, Turner 5, Kilgallon 6, McCartney 5; Henderson 7(Zenden 70min, 6), Cana 6, Cattermole 6, Reid 6 (Benjani 87); Jones 8, Bent 6. Booked: McCartney, Cattermole, Jones, Cana.

Wigan Atheltic (4-5-1): Kirkland 6; Boyce 6, Caldwell 7, Bramble 6, Figueroa 7; N'Zogbia 7, Scharner 6 (Moreno 74, 5) Thomas 6, Diame 7, McCarthy 7; Rodallega 6 (Moses 84). Booked: Figueroa, N'Zogbia, Rodallega, McCarthy, Caldwell.

Man of the match: Kenwyne Jones.Referee: Stuart Atwell.

 Sunderland's Geordie boss Steve Bruce: I can handle the flak from fansTHE FIRING LINE: Avram is tops of the league. of managers on their way outSUNDERLAND AFC

Source: Daily_Mail