Stoke City’s boss Alex Neil Makes a ‘brutal’ statement as he claims his side were ‘more than a match’ for ‘very good’ Sunderland…

Alex Neil, the manager of Stoke City, believes his struggling team demonstrated their competitiveness against the strong Sunderland side, securing a 2-1 victory at the bet365 Stadium. This win marked their second consecutive victory against Sunderland, following a 5-1 win in March.

The game was closely contested, with Ryan Mmaee scoring an early goal for Stoke, which Sunderland believed should have been disallowed for handball. However, Jack Clarke quickly equalized for Sunderland, and Luke McNally headed the winner from a set-piece just after halftime. This victory ended Sunderland’s three-game winning streak on the road and eased the pressure on Neil, as Stoke secured only their second league win in nine matches, moving one place higher in the league standings to fifth-bottom.

Neil acknowledged that Stoke City is currently a team in transition, and this can be frustrating in the Championship, where winning is crucial. He also recognized the support of the fans and their understanding of the club’s current situation.

Despite the challenges, Neil believed that Stoke played well, particularly in the first half and during a 15-20 minute spell after scoring the second goal. He felt they had the opportunity to finish the game decisively. However, Sunderland applied pressure toward the end of the match, and Stoke had to defend resolutely. Neil stated that these challenging games are the most satisfying to win, especially against a strong opponent, emphasizing that Stoke was more than a match for Sunderland.

Alex Neil says his Stoke City side were 'more than a match' for 'very good'  Sunderland - Chronicle Live

Stoke City capitalized on Sunderland’s lack of height in defending set-pieces, and this strategy paid off with Luke McNally’s goal from a corner. Neil explained that Sunderland, known for their small and technically skilled players, have a lack of height in their squad, leading them to use a zonal marking system. Stoke was able to exploit this by isolating a player at the back post, which resulted in McNally’s goal.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.