JONATHAN WALTERS believes the side produced a ‘professional performance’ to end an eight-game winless run against 10-man Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Potters were already leading the game courtesy of Charlie Adam’s superb opener by the time that referee Kevin Friend dismissed Black Cats defender Wes Brown for a reckless challenge on the Scotland international.
The Republic of Ireland international admits that he still isn’t certain whether the decision was the correct one, but certainly doesn’t feel that the sending off changed the course of the game.
“Sometimes it’s harder to play against ten men, even though mentally you think and maybe expect it to be a little easier,” he told Stoke City Player.
“But to be honest we were in control of the game at the time, and then after the dismissal I think we produced a professional performance, scored another good goal and kept a clean sheet, which we are delighted with.
“There were one or two areas that we could have been a little bit better in, possibly keeping the ball more and making them work a little bit more.
“You have to remember that they have some good players though and they threw everything at us because they were desperate for a result today too.
“Overall, we can be pleased though because we have ended that run and now we can look at starting to climb the league and get ourselves into the top half, which is what we want.”
Walters, who captained his country in the goalless draw against Poland earlier in the week, says that he could sense the pressure leading into the game having entered the clash without a victory to their name since August.
“It was a massive game for us for sure, because they were a few points behind us and we were sitting in an uncomfortable position ion the table,” he added.
“It was huge and it was absolutely imperative that we got things right today, which thankfully we did.
“Some people may look at it and take it as a given that we would win, but they are a good team, they have good players and they arrived here on the back of a great victory against Manchester City.”
He added: “We needed the three points and now hopefully we can take our performance into another tough game at Goodison Park next week and look to get more points there.”