Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunderland confirm Ben Haim switch

Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia confirmed on Sunday that he had signed Manchester City defender Tal Ben Haim on loan until the end of the season. The 26-year-old Israel international completed his move just hours after the 1-1 draw in the Tyne-Wear derby against Newcastle.

Sbragia told Sunderland's official website, "It's a position we have been short in so I'm delighted that Tal has joined us. I know all about him from his days at Bolton. He's got a lot of top-flight experience and he will be a great addition to our squad."

Ben Haim started his career in England at Sbragia's former club Bolton before moving to Chelsea in July 2007 on a free transfer.

Earlier, Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi's second-half spot-kick cancelled out Djibril Cisse's opener at St James' Park and Sbragia admitted his team didn't deserve to win the derby because they weren't deadly enough in front of goal.

"With the pressure they put on us in the second half we crumbled a little bit," Sbragia said. "I think (Steven) Taylor's done the five-card trick and won the penalty though. I think more than likely the linesman is the closest man to it and he's not given it, and the referee is further away and given it after three or four seconds."

Ameobi added: "I scored the goal but we gave 110 percent in the second half and we were unlucky not to win. It was a great point for us. It was a game we couldn't lose and we haven't done that."

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