Sunderland U21s 1-0 Spurs - Matt's verdict
23 August 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Matt Wells was left frustrated after our Under-21s were made to pay for a slow start against Sunderland on Sunday.
Lyndon Gooch capitalised on our failure to clear a loose ball from a corner to strike the winner with only five minutes on the clock.
We created half-chances throughout the game without completely carving Sunderland open. The home team defended well, typified by key blocks from Thomas Beadling to deny Harry Winks and Josh Onomah in the first half.
Another effort from Onomah was deflected wide in the second half while Alex Pritchard forced a fine save from Maksymilian Stryjek.
Sunderland also hit the crossbar in the second half and the feeling from the dressing room afterwards was one of disappointment.
“The pre-match team meeting was all about how we wanted to start quickly but we didn’t carry that out onto the pitch,” said coach Matt.
“We knew Sunderland would sit in, be compact, aggressive, try to hit us on the counter-attack, try to score first and then look after it.
“The first goal was always going to be important and that’s the disappointing thing, the start we made and to give that goal away.
“We found our rhythm midway through the half and looked a threat, we got runners from deep and looked like creating chances.
"In the second half we had a lot of the ball but didn’t create enough clear-cut chances. I can’t fault the lads for effort, we tried everything but it wasn’t enough.
“But at the same time, the players have to take the lesson from the game. They can’t write it off, especially as it’s happened before and the pattern of the match was exactly as we predicted. We didn’t do our jobs early in the game and that hurt us.”