Tony Mowbray’s side beat Boro (Owen Humphreys/PA)
22 January 2023

Tony Mowbray will not say sorry to Boro-supporting son after Sunderland win

22 January 2023

Tony Mowbray was thinking about what his family would say after leading Sunderland to an impressive 2-0 victory over his hometown club Middlesbrough.

The Teesside-born Black Cats boss, a former Boro captain and manager, was proud after watching his young team close the gap to Michael Carrick’s sixth-placed side to one point in the Championship.

Top scorer Ross Stewart put Sunderland in front in the 51st minute when he tapped in the rebound after Zack Steffen had saved his penalty.

That spot-kick arrived after Dael Fry was red carded for bringing down Stewart as he charged through on goal – even though Middlesbrough complained it should not have been given.

With nine minutes remaining Sunderland wrapped up the points when the brilliant Amad Diallo, on loan from Manchester United, found the inside of the near post to highlight his talent once more.

After winning the Wear-Tees derby in front a 42,584 crowd, Mowbray knows he will have some explaining to do to his family.

He said: “I will be interested to see what my 13-year-old boy thinks. He will be fine! I won’t apologise to him because it is my job to get the result.

“What I would say is it was amazing today. It is not every time you get that passion, the noise from a crowd.

“Middlesbrough are a good team and they had won five of their last six away games. We beat a really good football team.

“We want to win and we have to get the balance right between developing, creating an identity and winning. I want to win.

“We denied them clear-cut opportunities and created some ourselves. We have been there where you get punished when you don’t make the most of those, and everyone would be unhappy. But we played well enough and got the result today.

“Was it a penalty, was it a sending off? I don’t know. We have had enough sending-offs ourselves this season. The result is the result.”

Even though Sunderland created more and better chances during the course of the 90 minutes, the decision from referee James Linington to award the penalty and issue Fry the red card was a huge moment in the game.

Carrick said: “I don’t agree with either to be honest. For the sending-off, I don’t feel Dael has made any attempt to pull him down, he was running in a straight line, Ross is entitled to go down.

“I’m not saying he dived. I’m just saying there was nothing deliberate about it. Then everyone can see it was out the box.

“You can’t get big decisions like that wrong. From what I have seen, I have watched it back, it was a double-whammy really.

“I know we weren’t at our best, that’s football. In games like this it won’t be as perfect as you want it. With 10 men we dealt with that very well, I’m pleased with the lads.

“The second goal killed it and we should have had a penalty with five minutes to go, so two big decisions go against us.

“The defeat hurts. We can’t brush it under the carpet because we haven’t got the result we wanted.

“It wasn’t terrible, bad, it is just the boys have set such high standards, we weren’t quite at our best.”

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