Chris Coleman identifies key factor behind Sunderland’s defeat to Sheffield United

Chris Coleman watches his Sunderland side slide to defeat at Sheffield United. Picture by Frank Reid
Chris Coleman watches his Sunderland side slide to defeat at Sheffield United. Picture by Frank Reid
Share this article
0
Have your say

Chris Coleman admits his struggling Sunderland side looked intimidated during spells of yesterday’s 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United.

Sunderland were on the back foot throughout the Boxing Day humbling to Chris Wilder’s Blades, as John Lundstram, Richard Stearman and George Baldock hit the goals.

The Black Cats didn’t manage a single effort on goal, with Wilder full of praise for his side’s efforts in “dominating” struggling Sunderland, the Black Cats remaining a point from safety.

United had gone six games without a win ahead of the visit of Sunderland, but the comfortable victory saw them rise back into the play-off positions.

Sunderland never got to grips with Sheffield United’s high press, workrate and movement.

Coleman, angered by his side’s inept performance, said: “We needed to get on top and push them back a bit as they were really dictating the tempo and they are a good team.

“We were just letting them do what they wanted to do rather than ask them a question. The words at half-time were more tactical than anything else, the full-time words were different.

“The supporters didn’t deserve that and I was disappointed for them.

“We can play this formation, that formation, when you walk on to the pitch it can be intimidating but only if you let it be. At times it looked like that, we looked intimidated.

“We were just accepting it. It was hugely disappointing.”

Wilder, meanwhile, said: “We didn’t give them any time or space to get their heads up, we worked extremely hard and got high up the pitch and stopped them playing.

“We have dominated good players and deservedly got the result.

“Sunderland were in decent nick heading into the game. They went to Wolves and got a result, but we have dominated the game from start to finish.

“We got a clean sheet too and, with and without the ball, we were excellent.”