Lee Johnson delivers this verdict on Sunderland's disappointing draw - and what went wrong

Lee Johnson said his side weren't good enough in the final third as they were held to a disappointing draw by Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 10:41 pm

The Black Cats were in complete control of the contest at half time, with Alex Pritchard's early goal giving them a one-goal lead, and a red card for David Davis also handing them a numerical advantage for the entirety of the second half.

But a failure to deal with a long throw into the box allowed Dan Udoh to equalise from the edge of the box, and Sunderland laboured in search of a response.

Goalkeeper Marko Mariosi was largely untested as Steve Cotterill's side secured a deserved a point.

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Lee Johnson watches on with owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus

"It's disappointing, it's just sloppy," Johnson said.

"It was a fifteen-minute spell just before half time that gave them the feeling that they could get something from the game.

"It's a quality strike. Udoh played really well and he was their spirit.

"We didn't do enough to put the knife in when we had it to jugular.

"I've just made my feelings very clear to the players in the dressing room because we have to maximise opportunities like that.

"We'd earned it as well, in the first half, scored a good goal.

"When we play simply, we play well.

"When we overcomplicate it, and people start getting a bit excited and fall off the gameplan, it can look scruffy and sloppy.

"I just felt our quality in our wide areas just wasn't good enough in that second half.

"We've got a few little nicks and knocks, and there were three changes in the end to the side that we'd originally lined up with yesterday, so that sort of thing sometimes happens.

"But we've got the squad to cope with it.

"The free kick at the end, for example. That delivery is important and we blaze it over the bar.

"It's that that's the frustration."

Johnson said a lack of quality in the wide areas was key to the insipid closing stages of the game.

Sunderland struggled to dominate the game but spurned a number of opportunities to test the home defence.

"I just feel the key word is quality, simple as that," Johnson said.

"You've got to, when you arrive in good areas, you've got to deliver dangerous balls and you've got to have good movement.

"That then leads to runs of attacks, which leads to first, second and third phase.

"We were getting to first phase, occasionally second, and then letting them off the hook with poor delivery or poor decision making.

"The frustrating bit is the goal we've conceded, and the sloppiness that led to it.

"The width and quality from out wide just wasn't there today.

"We have to keep chipping away it, and keep working at it."

Johnson was forced to watch the game from the director’s box after picking up his fourth yellow card of the campaign on Saturday afternoon, which handed him a one-game touchline ban that has now been served.

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