Stephen Elliott: Lee Johnson got this move wrong in Sunderland's draw with Fleetwood Town

Up until Saturday, Lee Johnson had been successfully putting an extra defender onto the pitch to shore things up and hold on to winning positions.

By Stephen Elliott
Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 10:00 am

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As a manager I feel it’s always a bit risky when doing this.

There are two ways of looking at it.

One way is the extra body at the back helps create a stronger barrier between the opposition and our goal, which up until Saturday had worked really well.

Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson.

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The other way of looking at it would be it encourages the opposing team to get into the Sunderland half.

On Saturday it was the first time that making the change had backfired on Lee Johnson.

Okay, he didn’t bring Frederik Alves on until the 90th minute but in the added time preceding it I felt like the equaliser was imminent for Fleetwood.

They were constantly looking to get balls across the box and looked dangerous.

I know Johnson was of the opinion it should not have been a penalty against Bailey Wright but I think the referee got it right.

Perhaps it was a slight deflection on the manager’s part as I’m sure he realised he could have managed the game a bit better.

Like I said though, a draw with Fleetwood away is not a terrible result but in hindsight maybe Johnson would probably do things a little differently if he finds himself in that situation again.

Bigger picture is there are two home games coming up in the league and I’m sure Johnson will have his troops ready to bounce back after Saturday’s late disappointment.

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