Vito Mannone relieved to have finally kept a clean sheet

The Italian reflected on his first shutout of the season.

Vito Mannone relieved to have finally kept a clean sheet
Mannone's last clean sheet came in September 2014. (Photo: Express)

After a one and a half year wait, Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone has kept a clean sheet and his relief was clear post match.

The long wait is over

Sunderland drew 0-0 at home to West Bromwich Albion at the weekend and, despite the disappointment of not winning the game, the one clear positive to come out of the match was Mannone keeping his first clean sheet in 18 months - the last before that being another goalless draw with Swansea City in September 2014.

However, to be fair to the former Arsenal shotstoppe,r he has not been the regular first choice for much of this period, with Costel Pantillimon taking over in goal quite early into the 2014/15 season.

Mannone was thrust back into the action at the end of 2015 as Pantillimon was allowed to leave for Watford and, with the exception of the odd game, he's held down the position well, but had yet to keep that vital clean sheet until Saturday.

Mannone's delight

Speaking to Sunderland's official website after the game, Mannone said: "It's been a while since we kept a clean sheet and we've been fighting for it a while now."

The 'keeper was very keen for his defenders to be given credit too after such a long wait for a shutout, adding: "We're really fighting for each other at the moment and my defence has been brilliant."

The defence did indeed look impressive on Saturday as Mannone literally had no saves to make, with Tony Pulis' team not registering a single shot on target all game.

Post game frustrations

Despite the long wait for a clean sheet being over, it was ultimately another disappointing day as Sunderland had to settle for a fourth consecutive draw. Stick has been put at Mannone's door a lot for failing to convert one point into three, but this most recent set back was certainly not his fault.

Saturday was a day of frustration at the other end for Sunderland. (Photo: Getty)
Saturday was a day of frustration at the other end for Sunderland. (Photo: Getty)

Despite Mannone's disappointment he could clearly admire the performance of his opposite number on Saturday, Ben Foster. After the two embraced at the end, Mannone credited him with having "made very good saves" throughout the afternoon.

In overall reflection of the game, the Italian said: "The ball just wouldn't go in but sometimes that happens. We need to remain positive because the manager was happy with our performance." 

Mannone and Sunderland's next challenge will be a big one this Sunday as they take on champions elect Leicester City, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez in toe.