04 October 2022

Mixed feelings for managers following goalless draw at Stadium of Light

04 October 2022

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray and Blackpool counterpart Michael Appleton walked away from the goalless draw with mixed feelings.

The Black Cats had the better of the first half, while the visitors improved after the break to dominate, but neither side could find the back of the net at the Stadium of Light.

For Sunderland it was a second consecutive goalless draw at home, and Mowbray said: “The level we want to play at is what you saw first half.

“Playing the ball forward, driving into space, running beyond, putting the ball in the box. The intensity out of possession to win it back quickly was everything we work on.

“It looked as if we ran out of legs in the second half. The intensity wasn’t there to win the ball out of possession and give us the impetus to do what we can do well.

“You hope the changes spark it up and yet it didn’t really tonight. They have in the past when these young lads have come in.

“Tonight was a difficult night in the last half an hour of the game. It was amazing to see us defending set plays like we did and putting our bodies on the line. You can lose those games 1-0 from a set play and the opportunity is gone.

“We are frustrated that we didn’t score a goal or two in the first half, we’ll have to put the point in the bag. It’s frustrating because that’s twice I’ve sat here and said that.

“A clean sheet is a positive of course, but home games, we want to win and keep the fans engaged with the team. It became difficult second half.”

After weathering the storm in the first half, Blackpool did enough to put an end to their three-match losing run in the Sky Bet Championship.

After the game, Appleton said: “First half we were a little bit tentative and showed too much respect. I don’t know if that was down to belief but I’d like to think that as a group, we came together at half-time and recognised what was needed.

“Second half, I thought we were outstanding. At one point we were almost like the home team and I was waiting for the net to bulge, there was that many opportunities.

“The only problem was they were falling to the majority of the defenders or midfield players who are not used to scoring goals.

“The pleasing thing is we’ve played Norwich on Saturday and created as many opportunities as we did, played as well as we did, passed the ball as well as we did and were able to back it up in the space of three days by coming here and being more than a match for Sunderland. That was pleasing.”

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