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Anthony Gair says...
Going with five at the back during the first half looked negative, and it felt like we were inviting unnecessary pressure at the back.
However, once the first ten minutes had gone and Leeds hadn’t scored, we started to look more confident on the ball and began to grow into the game, so much so that the last ten minutes of the first half, there was only going to be one team putting the ball in the net, and that was us!
The second half was magic.
With our defensively-minded setup, we played on the counter and it proved to be fruitful when Jobe Bellingham nodded past Ilan Meslier. The final minutes were incredibly nervous from my point of view, but Leeds just couldn’t open up our defence.
Sunderland’s intensity returns
Sometimes we try to play the ball around teams, but we let Leeds know they were in a hard game.
We put in some crunching challenges all over the field, Dan Neil put in a huge shift again, and Trai Hume and Niall Huggins made sure that the wingers didn’t get through without a challenge.
What a performance!
Seeing out the game
Not necessarily a negative, but we defended like trojans after the goal, and Leeds seemed to enjoy 95% of the possession for the final ten minutes.
You feel that under Tony Mowbray, we probably would have conceded. But this looks like a new Sunderland, a weird prospect of us actually defending for a living, and not trying to outscore the other side.
A tricky first ten minutes
I know it was different for us to be a bit defensive, but I didn’t half think we were going to get pummelled if the game continued the way it did for the first ten minutes.
If they’d had scored during that period, we might’ve been heading for a heavy loss.
Long live Doddsy!
Joseph Tulip says...
Setting up to stifle the opposition
We were excellent but we were also pragmatic in our approach. I loved our expansive play under Tony Mowbray but credit must go to Mike Dodds for the way he dared to change both formation and personnel to tame a Leeds side that attacks with pace and has been on fire of late. It could have backfired but for the second game running, Dodds called it right. We also created plenty of opportunities and could have scored more than one.
Old fashioned qualities from modern players
The grit and determination you’d expect from a Sunderland side were there on a night when we had to be on the ball from start to finish. This was an edgy, tactical encounter but our lads were putting their heads and bodies on the line while executing a carefully crafted game plan.
Right time for a new head coach?
All seems to be rosy in the garden after two impressive home wins and while this means our new head coach will arrive while we’re in a position of strength, it also means an extra voice or two will be on the way soon. It is tempting to say let Dodds and co continue over the festive period but I know that is not the plan, and I’m sure things will work out.
Seelt settling in
In the absence of too many ‘downs’, I wanted to give a special mention to Jensen Seelt for the way he once again adapted to being thrown in, this time as part of a back three/five.
I think Seelt was solid throughout and is clearly comfortable on the ball. He looks adaptable and is demonstrating his ability as the type of play out from the back defender the club were seeking to replace Danny Baath. It was a bold decision but Seelt is showing his class now and fair play to the recruitment team.
All of our defenders last night were excellent and well done to all.
Michael Dunne says...
Praise for Pritch!
I’m genuinely so happy for him at the moment.
He has undoubted quality and at times we’ve looked a little lost without someone in midfield who can pull the strings. I thought he was brilliant during the last few games and against Leeds, he was the key to everything that was good about our performance, and especially the goal.
Although he probably didn’t know a lot about it, his intelligence to direct the ball right into Jobe’s path shows the IQ he has. I really hope we don’t let him go in January as he still has so much to offer.
Improving home form
The tables have completely turned on our form at the Stadium of Light.
Last year it was our Achilles heel but this year, it’s become our strength and whilst it’s not a fortress just yet, we’ve definitely worked to improve it and if we can keep this up, it can put us in a strong position for the rest of the season.
A win, but no striker on the scoresheet!
Another game another goalless affair from our strikers. It’s not exactly a new issue but my wish for a goal from a striker before Christmas has only two more games to come true!
Can Ipswich please lose a game?!?