Give fans refund, Sunderland goalie says of 8-0 loss

Give fans refund, Sunderland goalie says of 8-0 loss
Sunderland's Liam Bridcutt (R) scores an own goal and Southampton's fourth goal.

LONDON - Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone is going to ask his teammates to pass the hat round to reimburse fans who made the long trip to Southampton, only to see their team whipped 8-0 in the English Premier League on Saturday.

The Italian conceded the team had "thrown in the towel" during the humiliating reverse at St Mary's, which is a round trip of more than 1,000km from Sunderland's home in the north-east.

"I will talk to the team to see if it is possible to pay for their tickets and their trip," he told reporters.

"We should do it because we didn't put our foot in, we didn't work hard.

"We started the game well but after we conceded, we threw in the towel and I include myself."

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet described the defeat, in which his team made a string of defensive howlers, as his "most embarrassing experience" on a football pitch.

While there was little Mannone could have done about the spectacular Santiago Vergini own goal which opened the scoring, the Italian could have been blamed for at least three, most notably when he cleared the ball straight to Dusan Tadic for the sixth.

"We have to remember how embarrassed we felt and take some anger from this game into the next one and produce a performance," Mannone said.

"We have to do it for ourselves, for the club and for our great fans as well who came all that way."

Sunderland host Arsenal in the league this weekend. Wigan Athletic's players offered to refund the price of the match ticket to travelling fans when they lost 9-1 to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in 2009.

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