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Sunderland v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship

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Roker Roundtable: Did Tony Mowbray make the right or wrong calls against Swansea?

After Luke O’Nien’s dismissal, Mowbray made some changes in tactics and personnel, but were they the right ones for the situation we were in? We asked our writers for their thoughts

Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Anthony Gair says…

I think he overthought the processes and felt that he had to make changes for the sake of it. On the other hand, I think he was on to a loss regardless of what he did on Saturday.

Would we have been happy if he’d thrown on every defensive player and battled on for a draw, or if we’d continued in the same vein to have some form of attacking threat while we still had a chance to win it?

Either way, I think we can just forget about Saturday and the changes that were made, as it was a proverbial ‘shot to nothing’ no matter what he did.

Onto the next game!

Sunderland v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Jon Guy says…

He clearly saw something in the period before O’Nien’s sending off and thought that the game was still there to be won.

If his changes had worked, we would’ve been hailing him as a tactical genius, whereas in the past, we’ve criticised managers for their unwillingness to make substitutions or for not having a ‘plan B’.

Mowbray’s planning went out of the window with the red card, and he tried to find a solution, so I think we have to trust him and his decisions. After all, he’s as keen for the team to succeed as we are.

Were they the decisions I would’ve made? Probably not, but I’m sure he saw them as valid calls in order to get something out of a game that was turned on its head by the red card.


Joseph Tulip says…

This was a very difficult situation for Mowbray.

He’d seen us dominate the first eighteen minutes of the game, we were switched on with our passing and were starting to cause problems for Swansea.

Personally, I wouldn’t have changed the system. We were playing well enough, so at the time I felt that we needed to bring on a defender but stick with the same formation. Of course we had to sacrifice an attacking player and Patrick Roberts was unlucky.

This meant losing Trai Hume as an attacking outlet, and Mowbray admitted afterwards that we’d opted to sit in and defend rather than carry on attacking, to avoid leaving holes that could’ve been exploited.

Later in the game, we left it too late to make substitutions because our hardworking lads were looking understandably leggy, and when the quadruple change happened late on, it seemed like a concession in order to give game time to the fringe players.

Sunderland v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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