Tony Mowbray delivers honest verdict on Sunderland win and the crucial half-time change

Tony Mowbray reacts to Sunderland’s 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park

Tony Mowbray admitted that his Sunderland side were outplayed for large spells of the first half at Blackburn Rovers but hailed a significant moment in their development as they won three Championship games on the bounce for the first time.

Jack Clarke and Dan Neil had given the Black Cats a 2-1 lead at half time but Blackburn had caused them more problems than any side this season, creating a string of big chances only to be denied by some poor finishing and some exceptional last-ditch defending.
Mowbray told his players to lift the intensity at half time and though the hosts continued to threaten thereafter, Sunderland themselves were a threat on the break and Clarke went on to add his fifth goal of the season to secure the points.

 

Tony Mowbray delivers honest verdict on Sunderland win and the crucial half-time  change

 

The head coach said it was a lesson for his side but praised them for finding a way to win.

“I’d like to put on record that they’re an amazingly talented team, very well coached,” Mowbray said.

 

“They gave us lots of problems, we talked a lot about getting the intensity levels right off the back of two big wins. It can be really difficult with a young team. and I was trying to make them aware that they were playing against a very talented team who overload central areas and get it through to your box. They did that for half an hour so and gave us lots of problems.

“We scored at good times.

 

“We sorted a few things out at half time, we needed to be more aggressive and we were, we kept turning it over and I felt we looked a real threat right through the second half. I felt we could score goals on the break in that second half.

“The only thing I talked to them about at half time was the intensity. If you sit off a good football team, they will pass round you. You can’t stand off good players and we played a really good team today.

 

“They played through us for half an hour and as soon as someone gets tight and wins a 50-50, and the ball breaks for us and we’re off, we looked like we could score. Everyone was doing that in the second half and I felt then we were a real good threat.

 

“I’ve been challenging them to go and win three in a row, because even though we finished sixth last season we were never able to do that.

 

“It’s really hard to do that in the Championship, and especially with a young team because the emotion of winning two games, you think you’re a really, really good team. It was a big test for us tonight because we didn’t dominate possession as we did in other games, even against Ipswich and Preston we had a lot of the ball and a lot of shots.

“Tonight the opposition were better than us for long spells in the first half, but the intensity we found in the second half swung the game.”

 

Mowbray also confirmed that Jewison Benette’s absence from the matchday squad was due to illness.

 

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