Michael Appleton reflects on Sunderland defeat and the 'horrendous' errors that cost his side

Michael Appleton admitted he was too angry to discuss his team’s defending for the goal that put Sunderland 3-0 up before half-time on Saturday.

Sunday, 5th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Sunday, 5th January 2020, 6:00 am

The Black Cats were in superb form against Lincoln City, but benefited from some major errors from the away side.

The second goal came as Appleton’s defence failed to play otu from the back, and the third followed soon after as the defence failed to deal with a free-kick fired downfield by Jon McLaughlin.

Lynden Gooch gathered the loose ball and all but ended the game as a contest.

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Lynden Gooch capitalises on some poor Lincoln defending
Lynden Gooch capitalises on some poor Lincoln defending

“You can’t legislate for that. There have been basic errors which have cost us the game,” said Appleton.

“If you come to a place like this where they’re on the front foot and have 30,000 fans behind them, it will be very dangerous, and we needed to be aggressive if we wanted something.

“Poor execution and poor decision making has punished us today, so I want the lads to learn from their mistakes. I didn't speak to the lads about the long ball for their goal because I was too angry, I think they felt that there was enough speed on the ball for it to go straight to Josh. So, for them to leave it and not deal with it, I was very disappointed.

“In the second half we were the better side, but it didn’t mean anything because the game was done,” he added.

“I told the players to go out and win the second half and they’ve done that. We didn’t start the game poorly, we just made a few horrendous errors which I don’t expect from the experienced heads out there.

“They were in a shock at half time, so they needed me but at the end of the game I told them the truth and hopefully that is now the end of it.

“We got the goal and our tails were up, but then we had to score a second goal quickly, especially in this type of game but we didn’t.

“We were much more competitive, we started to pass the ball and made more of a game of it in the second half. In reality the damage was done.”