Sunderland must take more chances - Mowbray

Published on: 30 November 2023

Jack Clarke's goals from out wide have been crucial for Sunderland, but even he was unable to guide Sunderland to a point on Wednesday

Sunderland must find ways to break teams down and take advantage of the numerous chances they are creating in the Championship or risk it becoming a "problem", says boss Tony Mowbray.

Saturday's setback at Plymouth saw 24 shots created for no reward, as the Black Cats lost 2-0 at Home Park.

Wednesday's 2-1 home loss to Huddersfield yielded 27 shots on goal.

"We had to show huge creativity and guile, but that sadly lacked a bit," Mowbray told BBC Radio Newcastle.

"We have to find an answer because if we don't the goals for column will become a problem.

"I don't think it was a day to talk about effort, it was a day to talk about how we're going to score against this team with three huge centre-halves, wing-backs and four midfielders blocked up in front of them.

"We suffered a little bit because it's not as if we're free-scoring at the moment."

The latest loss leaves the Wearsiders in 11th, four points behind Hull in sixth.

While they are not the lowest scorers in the top half, it is the number of chances created compared to the reward that has been an issue.

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Last season's run to the Championship play-offs was made all the more remarkable by the fact star striker Ross Stewart spent two large chunks of the campaign out injured, as Manchester United loanee Amad Diallo, wingers Jack Clarke and Patrick Roberts plus Alex Pritchard and Dennis Cirkin chipped in.

Stewart left for Southampton earlier this season and while new forwards Mason Burstow from Chelsea, Ukraine forward Nazariy Rusyn and Portuguese striker Luis Hemir Semedo have come in, they are all relatively inexperienced in terms of first-team football and the Championship itself.

Mason Burstow is just one of the strikers Sunderland have turned to for goalscoring options this season

Mowbray has been in enough campaigns not to be overly concerned at this stage, but acknowledges they need a shift in fortunes.

"The previous two home games we scored three goals in each, and generally since I've been at the football club we've found a way to score goals," he added.

"Last season [we had] a lot of the time without strikers, this year we've got young strikers but we're trying to get them up to speed. Mason Burstow played seven or eight games on the bounce, Nazariy Rusyn played three or four on the bounce.

"It was Eliezer Mayenda's opportunity. We hope one of them catches on and starts banging in goals like centre forwards. We feel we do create chances as a team, it's not just pointing the finger at the centre-forwards.

"We have to score from all over the pitch and generally as a team we have done that but it has dried up a bit at this moment."


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