Tony Mowbray delivers a brutally honest verdict on Sunderland's crucial win - and his own team selection
Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray admitted his side have to be ‘miles better’ than they were at Huddersfield Town but said he felt that was largely down to his selection.
And the head coach added that his side were due a night where it was the opposition who were left to rue not making more of their opportunities.
The Black Cats struggled to build any rhythm in atrocious conditions at The John Smith’s Stadium, but scored two excellent breakaway goals in the second half through Alex Pritchard and Amad. Mowbray had brought Elliot Embleton and Patrick Roberts into his side but the hosts had the better of the first half.
The half-time introduction of Ellis Simms, who had been preparing to play a maximum of 30 minutes, made a major difference in a much more even second half.
"I've just said to the boys, our performance has to be miles better than that,” Mowbray said.
"It's probably the worst performance since I've been here, I didn't think we could play as that,” Mowbray said.
“I'll give credit to Huddersfield as well, they gave us a lot of problems, their rotations were good. Our performance was like the weather really. But it's good to say that with three points on the board, knowing that we can move and knowing that we are much better than that.
“If anything, it's probably my fault, I probably played too many attacking players and so we didn't have enough resistance to stop them being good with the ball. I was trying to be bold with the team, thinking we could come here and dominate, we weren't good enough with or without the ball really.
“We spoke with Ellis about getting 30 minutes, but we needed a physical presence and someone to run in behind. We couldn't get them off our back so we needed Ellis needed to give us something to play off. He helped enormously and we did look like we could score a goal second half, to be fair.”
Sunderland have now taken four points from two away games to improve their standing in the table, and that is a major boost for Mowbray as he hopes to get a number of key players back after the World Cup break.
“Listen, our performance level over the seven or eight weeks that I've been here has warranted a lot more points,” Mowbray said.
“There've been times where we've been really dominant but just not found a way. We have to give our backline credit as well, including Corry in there, they put their bodies on the line and stopped a lot of crosses, won their headers.
“It takes lots of different ways to win football matches, it can't be silky soccer every week, there aren't too many Manchester City's around and certainly not at this level.
“We'll take the points and I'd like congratulate Huddersfield because if they can play like that every week, they are going to be fine.
“We managed to find a way.”