Tony Mowbray delivers honest verdict on Sunderland win - and names the player who deserves special praise

Tony Mowbray admitted his side had come second best in a poor first half against Millwall, but praised their reaction in securing a superb 3-0 win.

It was three points that took Sunderland seven clear of the bottom four, and within just one point of the play-off places.

Amad opened the scoring for the Black Cats before Alex Pritchard added a second shortly afterwards, with Ellis Simms adding a deserved third in stoppage time.

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Mowbray hailed the attacking quality his team showed late on and reserved special praise for his ‘dominant’ defender Danny Batth.

"I have to say that I never felt too comfortable,” Mowbray said.

"I wasn't too happy at second half, I was honest in saying that I felt they'd come second best in a fight. We never got any fluency in our game and they won too many second balls.

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"They reacted really well and it shows the fine margins in football, I know we've got the quality to hurt teams but too often in the first half they came out of the challenges [with the ball]. That fine percentage switch turned the game, and the individuality we've got won the game for us.

Sunderland defender Danny Batth

"If we're honest Gary won't be able to fathom how they didn't score in the first half. It was an important win for us, we have to be relatively happy with where we're at [in the table] I think.

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"We're not happy with the first half but we're happy with the result. Danny Batth needs a special mention, I think. Against such a potent team with set plays and how many first contacts they win, it was amazing how dominant he was. I think about 63% of the goals come from set plays and that shows you how important Danny was for us, and how amazing a job he did for us.

"You have to stand up to the [physical] challenge and then do what you're good at. We grew into the game."

Mowbray insisted he wouldn’t be paying any attention to the table despite his side moving to within striking distance of the top six.

“I don’t look either way [at the table] to be honest,” he said.

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"It’s a bit scary sitting there four off the top and four off the bottom. Are you having a good season or a poor season? It all rests on one result. You get beat, and everyone’s looking over their shoulder at the bottom of the division; you win and everyone’s looking up at the top. The reality is, you have to find a way to keep picking up points.

"I’ve always said that – accumulate points along the way, however you get them. Find a way to pick up points, find a way to win. Back-to-back wins catapults us to a point off the top six, but it’ll be a big challenge a week on Monday against West Brom. Carlos seems to have a found a way to win matches with the talented players they’ve got. That’ll be a big test for us.”