Kyle Garrett says…
Clarke x Stewart
They were both class weren’t they? Stewart scoring twice from two Jack Clarke assists. Clarke then decided to score a worldie to finish off a brilliant night.
There’s no signs of an Alex Neil hangover. Arguably our most complete performance of the season for the first home win of the season.
I really cannot for the life of think of one.
At a push, Ellis Simms and Alex Pritchard both looked knackered in the second half. But it didn’t matter!
Andrew Smithson says…
After four very good performances at the Stadium of Light we’ve now got the win our efforts deserved. Home form is always important, so it is great to see that continuing at a higher level.
Tony Mowbray couldn’t have got off to a better start. His comments about what club means to area and how he expects the team to respond to that were music to my ears, and we’ve quickly turned round what was a very sour affair on Friday into a buzz again. The win will hopefully get a lot of his doubters on side, and the stuff I have read about the new head coach’s personality are very encouraging - a figurehead’s character is almost as important as their ability to manage in my book, and I think fans will identify with a local (ish) bloke with good values.
The word is that Mowbray has seen a lot of our games already and that rings true in the formation and tactics we saw against Rotherham United. He knows his remit, and has an idea of what we need, but for once we are in a position where the changes can be gradual instead of wholesale. It is rare that an SAFC manager leaves for any reason other than poor form but we have a chance to keep the momentum going.
No downs from me, apart from on a selfish note!
I wasn't able to be there in person tonight and it seems like I’ve missed a cracking night. I hate missing home games anyway, but to not be there for the win AND the half time appearance of the new lads means I couldn’t have picked a worse time. Mind, I missed Roy Keane’s first home game too, so maybe it will prove to be a lucky omen!
Martin Wanless says…
The three points
Regardless of the change in manager, this game was going to be an important one to get three points in – a home game against a team that came up with us. Added to that it was Mowbray’s first game in charge, and it made it doubly important to get the three points. We did comfortably, with probably our best performance of the season.
Stewart keeps bagging
How Ross Stewart would adapt to the championship was one of the big unknowns at the start of the season, but he’s done fantastically well. It was great to see him scoring another brace, while I have to sneak in a mention of Jack Clarke’s performance. He was superb.
The only negative for me was that we failed to put Rotherham away in the first half. We had a lot of possession, and a number of chances, but just couldn’t break through. A better team could have got us on the counter, and we need to be more clinical. There did seem a gulf in class between us and Rotherham though, which is pleasing and surprising after last season.
Lars Knutsen says...
For once, a pleasure to watch a relatively relaxing Sunderland home game
Tony Mowbray got the team to play in a determined but liberated fashion, and it seems that any rigid system which had been adopted by Alex Neil had been dismantled in favour of the team expressing themselves as talented footballers.
We were in control
There were several outstanding performances, Clarke who had a stunner, Gooch and the whole defence, who kept their shape. I have not seen Cirkin play much live, but he did not put a foot wrong. We won the majority of the 50:50 balls.
I am struggling to think of negatives, especially on a night when the recruitment was demonstrably visible in a classy way, with exciting new players who want to be at Sunderland. It’s been a traumatic week at the SSoL, but it ended well, with a new manager who clearly gets what we are about as a football club, and knows the North East.
One negative worth mentioning: Stoke scored a late equaliser against Swansea.