LJ POST HULL



Sunderland could only manage a draw against Hull City on Saturday night. Lee Johnson had this to say afterwards: "We worked extremely hard against a good side,” Johnson said. “I thought Hull had the better of the first half and we had the better of the second half. We have a couple who need to do more, if I'm honest, we need to show that devilment for 96 minutes. I thought our reaction to the transition was outstanding, the press. We won it back a lot within six seconds, even if that sometimes came from us giving it away. There's still a bit to do and I think I've got to show my teeth a bit now, and demand that execution in the final third. Our set pieces, for example, weren't good enough, so that's something to improve on. The lads are showing maximum effort, which does give us a good opportunity to turn those draws into wins. The work rate was there, but in my head, there’s a couple that aren’t showing elite mentality.”


“It’s not through a lack of willing to win, it’s almost a confidence-swing thing. We have to find ways to influence each other and bring our best game out. We have to find ways to influence the game and be better with our game management in various moments of the match. I thought we were much better in the second half. We turned them, and got Goochy in and around Charlie, who was busy. That then allowed the back four to get up a bit more, and we played quicker, forward. At the moment, we’re burning too many situations. Midfielders need to receive and quickly play forward because then that gives us a chance to win it higher up the pitch, which we’ve been doing extremely well. It’s ying and yang. We’ve been doing the energy and discipline, and barring mistakes we wouldn’t have conceded in four or five games. Let’s be honest, apart from big mistakes, we wouldn’t have let a goal in. When I talk about demanding things, it’s about demanding the right execution. Take set-plays for example, no it’s not good enough to hit that first man. That’s what I mean. Yes, we support them, but at the same time we need to have that demand internally. We must demand things of them.”


On the transfer front LJ is still hoping to get Carl Winchester over the line but is hoping to bring in a forward too. Johnson said: “It’s still the case that we’re confident one (the Winchester signing) is near. It’s taking a bit longer to dot the I’s than I thought, but I still think that’ll happen. I do think we need something. I think we need a change of dynamic in a certain area of the pitch, although I don’t want to go into it any further. That will be the bit that will be most difficult for us, because of financial headroom that we have or haven’t got, or might have to create, and also because of the backlog of various injuries that we’ve got. For me, that one will be important.”


“We’re trying very hard. We’ve got lists on lists on lists, but they’ve got to be available, accessible, affordable and match fit, otherwise what’s the point in signing them? There are so many games that if it takes them a month to get match fit, then they’ll miss nine games. Obviously, they’re not easy to get. You’re either taking a chance with a young pup that hasn’t played and is at Premier League level, or you’re going and trying to recruit someone on a permanent, which is difficult for us because of the salary cap headroom. But you don’t get a job when you’re top of the league and absolutely flying, so we’ve got to hustle in this period and we’re ready to go with that. If we can’t get anything, then we go with what we’ve got and we might need to try (Lynden) Gooch in the nine-and-a-half role and get some goals out of him in that area. I thought he did well there today.”


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