Rotherham United withstood a late challenge from Tony Mowbray’s Sunderland side this evening to record their first victory in six games and inflict a first away defeat for the Black Cats since October.
Goals either side of the interval from Rotherham captain Ollie Rathbone and Shane Ferguson put the home side in complete control at The New York Stadium affair, but Joe Gelhardt soon reduced the arrears to give the Wearsiders hope.
Speaking with Sunderland’s official website, Mowbray said:
We’re obviously disappointed. Give them so credit for the way they played, they’re a very intense team and they don’t let you get the ball down. We found it difficult to get into out rhythm and get the ball moving.
I don’t mind losing football matches, I want to see the team play brave and move the ball around and we didn’t start doing that until we were 2-0 down.
It was a frustrating night for us. We have to accept it, the next game is coming very, very quickly.
The team deserve a lot of credit. This is the first time we’ve lost away from home since October. It’s just frustrating, we should be coming to Rotherham and winning.
There’s a few lessons to be learned tonight, we have to play at maximum in every game in this decision I feel; and there was one or two who didn’t quite hit maximum tonight.
Maybe I need to take some blame for playing a slightly different system tonight. We tried to play two up top to take the pressure of us, because we knew they were intense and weren’t going to allow us to play.
It’s a difficult night for us, we were at our best in the second half when we needed to get going. We shouldn’t have to wait until we’re 2-0 down before everyone puts their foot on the pedal and we look like the team we can be.
Sunderland head to Coventry on Saturday in the hope of righting a few wrongs - let’s hope they’re more at it than they were in Rotherham on Tuesday night.