North East UK news Alex Neil gives worrying update on Dan Ballard's injury, and says QPR 'got out of jail' PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Sunderland boss Alex Neil reacts to his side's 2-2 draw against QPR at the Stadium of Light
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Sunderland could be without new signing Daniel Ballard for an extended period with Alex Neil admitting the defender's injury 'doesn't look good'. Ballard had to be helped from the pitch after he was clattered late by QPR's former Middlesbrough striker Albert Adomah inside the first ten minutes of the match at the Stadium of Light, although referee Jeremy Simpson decided the incident was not even worthy of a free-kick. Neil confirmed afterwards that the ex-Arsenal man had been taken to hospital for the injury to be properly assessed. "It doesn't look good," said Neil. "He's away to hospital now so we'll see how he is. It's a massive blow, because Dan Ballard is a key player who we have spent money on to improve the squad. READ MORE: Recruiting specialist cover for Corry Evans not a top priority for Sunderland "It just shows where we are because we are light, aren't we, and we have lost a signing that we have brought in." The loss of Ballard made a bad day worse for Neil, as he saw his side throw away a two-goal lead against the Londoners. Goals from Ross Stewart and a home debut strike from Ellis Simms in the first half had put Sunderland on course for victory, only for QPR to mount a late fightback. First Ilias Chair scored a stunning free-kick with three minutes of normal time remaining, and then goalkeeper Seny Dieng came forward for a corner to head home the equaliser two minutes into added time. Neil insists QPR 'got out of jail', although that did little to ease his frustration. "As far as I'm corncerned, they got out of jail," he said. "You could see by their celebrations how delighted they were because, based on the 90 minutes, I don't think they deserved anything from the game. "We deserved to win the game, certainly on the way we played in the first half. They changed their shape in the second half but once we matched them up with a back four, I thought we for 15-20 minutes took the sting out of the game and controlled the ball a bit more, and I could just see the game petering out. "But two transitions led to two chances, if you want to call the free-kick a chance, and they both ended up in the net.
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. "Unfortunately, today, we ended up on the wrong end of it." Of the goals Sunderland conceded, Neil said: "We fouled at the edge of the box but you have to give the lad [Chair] credit there, he puts it in the top corner and there's nothing you can do about that tactically or structurally. Then for the second goal, when they brought the goalkeeper up we didn't have enough players to mark him, so somebody is free in the box and it comes to him and the chances of that happening are highly unlikely. "The only way to fix it is to take my goalkeeper and mark their goalkeeper, but then no-one is in goal. It's quite straightforward. It's a numbers game and there are 10 players in my box, and I've got 11 players one is out with the corner taker and one of them is my goalkeeper - so I've got nine marking 10 in the box." Sunderland could still have won it with Stewart seeing a shot saved by Dieng, and then Elliot Embleton's follow-up was deflected onto the underside of the bar. Neil said: "Ross has a really good chance with his left foot, the keeper makes a really great save, it drops to Elliot who gets great purchase on it but I think it's Jimmy Dunne flying across the goal and it hits his foot, it hits the underside of the bar. "When your luck's not in, your luck's not in." Despite the late disappointment, Sunderland have five points from their first three games which is a decent start on their return to the Championship but Neil was in no mood to pick out positives. He said: "Right now, I'm not satisfied. I'm not happy. "The lads are not happy, and they shouldn't be happy. We've let two points slip in the last five minutes of the game. "It's frustrating." READ NEXT Sunderland add two teenage recruits to strengthen the club's U21 squad Alex Neil opens up on Sunderland philosophy that is informing recruitment strategy Alex Neil gives a transfer update as Sunderland continue to chase targets ahead of the deadline Sunderland's promising start leaves Bailey Wright playing a waiting game Sunderland must not rest on their laurels after a positive start - now is the time to strengthen
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