26 December 2022

Toby Mowbray heaps praise on Sunderland loan stars Amad Diallo and Ellis Simms

26 December 2022

Tony Mowbray praised his Premier League loan stars as they helped secure Sunderland’s 2-1 win over his former club Blackburn.

Amad Diallo, who is on a season-long loan from Manchester United, has been one of the Black Cats’ key performers for the last few weeks, and he impressed again in the number 10 role as his side claimed all three points at the Stadium of Light.

Ellis Simms, who joined Sunderland on a season-long switch from Everton in the summer, came off the bench to make a match-changing impact with 10 minutes remaining after Ross Stewart scored a goal at either end in the first half.

Simms received a square ball from Dan Ballard in the first minute of stoppage time before prodding home a clinical finish with the outside of his boot.

Mowbray said: “I think Everton are just happy Ellis is playing football. It’s like Amad and Manchester United, I think Everton are just happy Ellis is here and playing.

“If you look at what we did at Blackburn, we had Harvey Elliot, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Tosin Adarabioyo, and we helped with their development. I think if clubs send young players on loan, they want to know that they’re playing football and improving.

“Amad didn’t play a lot of football at Rangers (on loan) last year, but now he’s one of our main players. I’ll be rotating him in and out as the games come thick and fast, but he’s playing and I’m sure Manchester United are happy with that.

“It’s the same with Ellis and Everton. It’s like they’re going to school really – you have to teach them about football and playing in all different kinds of games.”

Mowbray would have taken special satisfaction from Sunderland’s success against his old side, which he felt was fully deserved.

He said: “Ultimately, I think we deserved the victory against a very good side. We were fairly dominant in the first half but conceded from a set piece – they have four six foot three players in there and it’s always difficult.

“Someone told me that they hadn’t lost a game this season where they had conceded first, and so that tells you it is a great effort from us to get the winner.”

Promotion-chasing Blackburn have still not drawn a single game this season – a statistic their manager, Jon-Dahl Tomasson, attributes to the lack of experience within his squad.

Tomasson said: “We’re disappointed. We can’t concede that late. When you have a game that is that close, you have to make sure you get something and bring something back.

“We didn’t do that. We need to learn from those situations – to concede a goal that late in a very close game, it hurts.

“It was from a free-kick and we should have dealt with it better. We have an inexperienced squad, but we’re very disappointed. I don’t think it was a brilliant game, but we all know that with a very young squad and a very young side, you can be inconsistent.

“We have to look at the situation. We were not expected to go up or be favourites.

“We are working hard to try to improve and we want to go in the right direction to be a sustainable club over time. We have had some great wins and enjoyed them and overperformed sometimes, but we have underperformed sometimes too. That is because we are so young.

“Of course, it hurts. It’s very disappointing conceding a goal that late, it shouldn’t happen. But we have to be better in those situations.”

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