AFTER celebrating one North-East derby triumph this week Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy has set his sights on a double.

The Black Cats boss celebrated his side's 1-0 extra-time Carling Cup second round win over League Two side Cheltenham by taking part in the star-studded Seve Trophy pro-am golf day at The Wynard on Wednesday.

McCarthy was part of Padraig Harrington's winning side which edged Colin Montgomerie's team - including Newcastle skipper Alan Shearer and Magpies fanatic Steve Harmison - into second place.

The 46-year-old Yorkeshireman, who plays off nine, admitted he thoroughly enjoyed the day away from the pressures of the Premiership as he prepares for Sunday's match against Middlesbrough at the Riverside.

"I enjoyed watching somebody as talented as Padraig, he's a terrific professional," said McCarthy.

"Not only that, he was gracious with the rest of us, helping us to line up putts. The fact that you can't hit it where he tells you to hit it is another problem though."

The Premiership's current talking points surround the worrying fall in attendances, high-cost ticket prices and the lack of entertainment on the pitch.

Sunderland's average crowds, as you might expect from a return to the top flight, are up as a whole on last season - no doubt helped by the club's decision to freeze season ticket prices for a sixth consecutive season.

But with Tuesday's Carling Cup tie at the Stadium of Light drawing a measly 11,969 - only a quarter of the capacity - experts have noticed a worrying problem throughout the Premier League.

McCarthy admitted he wasn't sure where the responsibility lies contributing to the Premiership's flagging fortunes, but says it is far from finished and insists that it does not apply to his club.

"I'd come to watch us because there's always loads of goals involved, not necessarily at the right end," quipped the Black Cats boss.

"I'd have been glad to pay to watch Arsenal against Everton on Monday, they were playing at a different level to anything I've seen this season.

"There's a lot of talk about falling attendances, be it boring football, formations, or the expense of it being the biggest problem.

Certainly at our place, prices are reasonable and affordable compared to other clubs. It'd be nice to see full houses all the time but if you're bringing a family of four it's a fair amount.

"It's a worry, of course it is. It was booming, flying. Now it's less so, maybe because the national cricket and rugby sides have done well, but it's not because it's boring because I can't believe it is.

"The Premiership has become more tactical. Teams don't want to get beaten first and foremost, they don't want to concede. We've created chances in all the games, Chelsea apart.

"But because of the divide in the Premiership, the ones in the lower half will set up to try and not get beaten. That doesn't make every game dull and stale.

"We've played entertaining football 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 and created chances but not put them away. At the end of it 20 draws gets 20 points, ten wins gets you 30 so you're far better off going out to win.

"Often in trying to win you get picked off at the back and end up losing. One of the games which highlighted that was Manchester City against Bolton, where City had loads of chances and come off feeling very, very frustrated.

"Is it forwards not taking their chances, is it better keepers, better defenders? I don't know. It's very early on and we've only played six games.

"The Premiership is far from finished, although I think Chelsea will win it. But look how impressive Arsenal were the other night. It's far from over, I wouldn't be paying anyone out on Chelsea just yet if I were a bookie."

* Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon has admitted his side's lack of goals is a ''real concern'' but insists he is ready to step out of the shadows and help reignite their faltering attack.

The humiliating Carling Cup defeat at Grimsby on Tuesday left Spurs with a dismal record of just one goal from their last five games.

The 18-year-old, a £1million summer signing from Leeds, said: ''It's a real concern because I don't think we are creating enough chances for the strikers.

''We are not conceding many goals and that's good, but we need to score more goals."

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