Pierre Ekwah explains how Sunderland boss Michael Beale gave team great half-time advice in Plymouth win
Pierre Ekwah says Sunderland boss Michael Beale gave the team some great half-time advice as they came from a goal down to beat Plymouth 3-1 at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats trailed 1-0 at the interval after Ryan Hardie had opened the scoring for the hosts in the 39th minute. Yet second-half goals from Ekwah, Jack Clarke and substitute Jobe Bellingham saw Sunderland move back up to sixth in the Championship table.
"The gaffer gave us some great advice at half-time and we definitely took it and put the words into action so it was good," said Ekwah after the match. "When a team away from home come and are organised defensively, it's difficult to take them down. Maybe you are not going to do it in the first half but you can do it in the second half.
"We came out with a different, maybe not mindset but our thinking was sharper in the second half. That really helped us a lot and we ended up winning the second half. We lost the first half but we won the second half.
The midfielder added: "When you are in the top eight, top ten of the Championship, teams away from home will come and sit and you have to find a way, and we did. We are getting better and better at it through the season which is good. We just showed in the second half how you should start the first half."
Ekwah's equaliser in the 52nd minute came after a short free-kick on the edge of Plymouth's box, with the midfielder drilling a low shot into the bottom corner past goalkeeper Conor Hazard.
"I tried to take them by surprise because to be truthful they really had a good wall," said Ekwah when discussing his goal. "We tried to come up with something and it worked so I'm quite pleased with that. I just saw a gap and it went in so I'm quite happy."
Sunderland have now taken seven points from their last three league games, ahead of back-to-back away games against Huddersfield and Birmingham next week.