Mick McCarthy has been reflecting on last night’s away defeat at the hands of Stoke City – and he’s not very happy.
The Lads conceded three goals within a fifteen minute period in the first half and although they managed to try and fight back in the second half, Kevin Kyle’s second goal in as many matches wasn’t enough.
McCarthy said today that in his opinion, Sunderland’s downfall was allowing Stoke to take control, and we didn’t take the fight to them. “We started alright but then for about 25-30 minutes we allowed Stoke to bully us a bit. They tackled that bit harder – you can’t always go away from home and play football, sometimes you have to scrap a bit too.
“We could have equalised before their second but we didn’t and they went upfield and scored again thanks to a deflection.
“They were full of it then, playing well and got a third with the aid of another deflection. They were playing better than us, but I am not sure we deserved the two deflections that helped them turn that into goals.
Sean Thornton was dismissed in the second half after seeing yellow for the second time in the evening, and will now miss the home game against Ipswich Town on Tuesday 30th September, but McCarthy said he thought the match officials had perhaps been a little over-zealous with cautions.
“The number of cards disappointed me – it seemed that every tackle was a yellow card offence. I had a brief word with the officials at the end because I didn’t think the game warranted all that.”
Stand-in skipper Paul Thirlwell admitted that the lads didn’t give it their all at the Britannia Stadium but said they are determined to put things right soon – starting with the next match, an away fixture at Pride Park against Derby on Saturday afternoon.
“Stoke were a big, physical side and we knew what to expect from them but we didn’t match them on the night”, said Thirlwell.
“I think we started quite well and got some decent crosses in, but it went downhill after the first 10 minutes. We had a bit of bad luck with deflections on a couple of their goals, but credit to Stoke for getting into good positions. The way we played, we gave ourselves a mountain to climb.”
Thirlwell denied that McCarthy’s team selection played a part in last night’s defeat, saying “Whatever 11 goes onto the pitch, we should be good enough to compete. We probably didn’t compete well enough at times but that wasn’t down to changes in the side.”
“We’ll go to Derby on Saturday and try to rectify the situation. We have to make sure that we don’t give Derby chances like that or we could get punished again.
“There’s a lot of hard work to be done if we’re going to get out of this league.”