The Black Cats, who dragged themselves out of Barclays Premier League relegation trouble against all the odds 12 months ago, set up the opportunity to repeat the feat with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Southampton at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. It was just the club’s second win in 11 attempts in the league, but while it left them only a point adrift of safety – although with an inferior goal difference to the two sides immediately above them, Leicester and Hull – they remain inside the bottom three and face a taxing run-in. Press Association Lee Cattermole has warned Sunderland they have done nothing yet despite giving themselves a chance of a second great escape. If Jordi Gomez, who converted 21st and 55th-minute penalties, claimed the headlines, his contribution was founded on the efforts of forgotten man Danny Graham. The striker made just his 27th appearance for the club he joined in January 2013 – and he is still awaiting his first goal – but it was he who prompted Jose Fonte into the rash challenge which resulted in the first spot-kick, and his run and pass to Jermain Defoe which saw James Ward-Prowse bundle the former Tottenham man to the ground for the second, an offence which cost the midfielder a red card. In the meantime, Sunderland keeper Costel Pantilimon had spilled the ball at the feet of Sadio Mane after colliding with team-mates Sebastian Coates and John O’Shea to hand the visitors an equaliser, but he redeemed himself four minutes into injury-time with a point-blank save from Toby Alderweireld. Delighted head coach Dick Advocaat said: “Still we have everything in our own hands. Newcastle have come a little bit closer now, so they have to win their other games as well, otherwise it will be very difficult for them. “They also have to play against one of the bottom clubs, so I think it will be exciting until the last day, maybe.” It proved a frustrating day for Saints counterpart Ronald Koeman, who was in no mood to blame referee Mike Jones for defeat. Asked about the penalty decisions, he said: “I don’t know, I have to see them back. But maybe the first one is an easily-given one. The second, I don’t know. “But it’s so easy to talk about the referee’s decisions. We made those kind of mistakes to give them the chances to have that kind of situation in our box.” For that reason, midfielder Cattermole will allow no-one within the dressing room to let up as preparations start for next weekend’s difficult trip to Everton. He said: “No chance. We are still in the bottom three. That could work in our favour, just seeing that all week. The results in the last two weeks have just shown the teams down there seem to produce performances. “We have got to keep doing that and keep matching what everyone else is doing, just focusing on ourselves and setting ourselves a target and make sure we get there, and then look to push on.” Sunderland had little option but to win on Saturday after seeing Leicester demolish imploding arch-rivals Newcastle in the early kick-off, and Aston Villa’s victory over Everton eased them further clear of the drop zone. Their fate remains in their own hands, but with the final two fixtures involving trips to Arsenal and Chelsea, the Black Cats know there is little margin for error, and Cattermole admits the gravity of the situation is never far from his thoughts. He said: “I’d be lying if I said I’ve been relaxed all week. I’m sat there and there are moments when you are just watching TV and you find yourself just thinking, thinking about football and the possibilities, what could happen. “We need to make sure the bad possibilities don’t come around, make sure we keep this club in the league and then look to improve.” Victory came courtesy of a gutsy performance on an eventful afternoon which saw the home side gain the lead, throw it away and then edge home, if only just.
Share Submit William Hill accelerates transformation agenda to overcome COVID realities August 5, 2020 GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile August 25, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles William Hill Chief Executive Philip Bowcock has stated to investors that his tenure will reshape the UK legacy bookmaker into a ‘digitally led and internationally diverse gambling business’.Speaking at the FTSE firm’s ‘Capital Markets Day’, Bowcock outlines the three strategic areas that will drive William Hill’s corporate turnaround, seeking to completely transform the bookmaker by: –Driving digital growth in the UK and internationallyGrowing a business of rapid scale in the USRemodelling UK Retail“We will meaningfully reshape William Hill over the coming years, moving from a business that is predominantly UK-centric and land-based to being a leading gambling business that is digitally led, internationally diverse and sustainable ” Bowcock statesBowcock is confident of William Hill securing its proposed £242 million acquisition of Stockholm-listed MRG Group, strengthening the firm’s European digital profile by acquiring a proven multi-market asset.“Our ambition is to build the world’s most trusted digital gambling brand and a business with greater scale, more geographic diversity and higher profit margins. The UK is our largest market and we will deliver an engaging and safe customer experience which will enable us to grow sustainably ahead of market growth rates and gain market share”.Digital growth will be supported by William Hill’s aggressive US growth strategy, in which the company has committed to investing $70 million towards driving technological improvements, seeking to secure an early mover advantage over competing European incumbents.Led by Joe Asher, William Hill US has been tasked with developing the lead sportsbook proposition for a market that could ‘generate between $5-19 billion in sports betting revenues by 2023’.“Our ambition is to grow William Hill US’s EBITDA from $50m from the US Existing business in 2018 to c$300m from the US Existing and US Expansion business in 2023. We expect our operations in new retail and tethered mobile states to become profitable within their first one to two years, supporting investment in the brand, marketing and technology”Though Bowcock presents a bold global mission statement, at home William Hill has to immediately address its UK retail downturns which have dragged corporate performance and value.Facing a tougher UK regulatory environment following 2018’s Triennial Review judgement, industry analysts will be keeping a close eye on how Bowcock remodels William Hill’s retail proposition.Mitigating the inbound FOBTs £2 wagering reduction, Bowcock confirms that William Hill has begun to research product innovations which may offer sustainable alternatives to B2 gaming machines.“The implementation date has been announced as October 2019. As previously announced, we expect this change to reduce Retail’s profitability by £70-100m following mitigation measures, including circa £15m of cost reductions.”Closing the address to investors, Bowcock outlines that all William Hill future growth initiatives across a global scale will be underpinned by the Group’s approach to sustainability through its long-term corporate initiative ‘that nobody is harmed by gambling’. Share SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020