Lee Johnson hails young Sunderland players after battling win against Port Vale
Manager Lee Johnson praised Sunderland’s youngsters after their battling 2-1 Carabao Cup win at Port Vale
Josh Hawkes fired Sunderland in front on 40 minutes after Alex Pritchard teed him up.
Aiden O’Brien doubled their lead from the spot on 50 minutes after Jack Diamond had been brought down by Stone.
Jamie Proctor pulled a goal back with 67 minutes gone, before Anthony Patterson produced a match-winning save to deny Proctor three minutes into stoppage time.
“I was pleased with the young lads who have stepped up. I thought they did well,” said Johnson.
“The young players stood up to the challenge and it was a learning game for them and me.
“The boys dealt with the floodlight failure well and they dealt well with the late pressure they put us under.
“The attitude was good and we recovered when we were put under pressure.
“It was a bit bitty and their long ball and long throw tactics made it difficult for us at times.
“The pitch was a bit sticky and wasn’t conducive to playing a slick game, so it is even better to get the win.”
Vale boss Darrell Clarke felt his side had been unlucky to lose.
“I am proud of the lads today for the way they battled back into the game,” he said.
“We put them under good pressure at the end and it was only a brilliant save from their keeper that stopped us getting another.
“The boys dealt with the floodlight failure very well and were able to keep our momentum going.
“It is obviously disappointing to have lost but there are plenty of positives we can take out of the game.
“We have given a big team with quality players a good test tonight and that is something we now need to build on.”
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