Deputy Editor Malcolm Dawson writes…Another frustrating evening at the Stadium of Light saw another defeat and to my eyes a squad of players who just aren’t good enough to compete with the better sides of the Premier League. The good news is that they are probably good enough to compete with the poorer sides and avoid the drop but today’s results from the other grounds did us few favours. The manager in his post match e-mail also seems to be struggling to explain things whilst having a grasp on reality.
It’s difficult to analyse the game because we were solid, we were trying to play and we scored a good goal. Then we conceded at maybe the wrong time but the second-half was very disappointing. Things happen in football and you never know the consequences – it’s a totally different game if you come in at half-time 1-0. Saying that, we talked about things at half-time and I wanted to go out in the second-half and perform because we were playing against a very good team.
Somehow again we conceded an own goal and then it was too open – we needed to go forward and create something somehow and then we leave space at the back.
At the moment it’s very difficult for the players. That’s the way I understand football and that’s the way I would like this team to play football. I’ve said it a few times and I will repeat it now, we cannot do it for long periods. That’s what we try to change, that’s why we give different options, that’s why we finish playing a little more direct, that’s why we changed the personnel.
We’re trying, nobody can say that we are not trying and the players are trying their best but the table is there and like I always say the table doesn’t lie. Other teams are winning somehow and we don’t, so there’s nothing to complain about. Every single game that comes now is bigger than the one before, we need urgency, we need men, we need people on the pitch who can take it.
We’ll train all week and we’re going to keep trying to make them understand things and try to put it on the pitch on Saturday.
All the best,
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