Tom Flanagan on the Burton Albion inquest that helped Sunderland bounce back to winning ways

Tom Flanagan spent three years at Burton and so knows their work ethic and competitive style better than anyone.

Monday, 24th September 2018, 8:00 am
BAFC 2-1 SAFC EFL League1 15-09-2018. Picture by FRANK REID
BAFC 2-1 SAFC EFL League1 15-09-2018. Picture by FRANK REID

At the Pirelli Stadium last week Sunderland didn’t match them.

For the Black Cats that was a wake-up call and Flanagan admits that ‘fingers were pointed’ in the aftermath.

The win over Rochdale, however, was evidence in Flanagan’s eyes that this is a squad and a management team that will not allow that to become a common theme this season.

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“It’s about matching people in this league,” Flanagan said.

“If we do that then our quality will show. In the first 15 minutes today we didn’t concede which was great.

“You do find yourself clock-watching a bit because of how things have gone so far, it’s impossible not to, but having got through that stage we were able to show our quality.

“That didn’t happen at Burton. That’s what we’ve said this week, it’s all well and good having the talented players but if we don’t match the work rate, we won’t match teams.

“We didn’t come away thinking, we’ve been outplayed, we need to change our style,” he added.

“It was a case of, we were beaten by hard work, and that’s not unacceptable.

“We were in the dressing room quite a long time after so by the time Monday came around it had all been aired.

“We had a quiet coach journey back so we all reflected. On Monday we watched some clips, pointed some fingers. A

“nd today we proved that we don’t like that, we don’t want to let that happen. I think that’s the right way to go about things. Some might disagree, other managers might not do it that way, but I think it’s good.”

Flanagan completed 90 minutes in the league for the first time this season against Rochdale and looks certain to keep his place for the trip to Coventry City next weekend.