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Alex Neil makes tactical admissions following Sunderland’s dramatic win over Sheffield Wednesday



Alex Neil’s Sunderland side produced an important 93rd minute goal against Sheffield Wednesday yesterday, which sees them progress to the play-off final and within 90 minutes of a Championship return. 

The Black Cats went into the second leg of the tie 1-0 up but Wednesday took the lead in their home fixture in the 74th minute through Lee Gregory.

The game looked likely to go to extra time with the score 1-1 on aggregate but Patrick Roberts was on hand to provide another Sunderland goal minutes before the end of the game.

Sunderland boss, Neil, resisted the temptation to make any early substitutions as he believed in what his side were doing, telling The Northern Echo: “It’s probably the first time I’ve not made early changes, and that’s because I had so much faith in those players. I felt if I changed it, I might dilute what we were doing.

“I had to stick to my guns, but I believed in what that team were doing for me. They delivered for me again. But for us, it’s only got us to an opportunity now. We’ve celebrated but it won’t be for long.”

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The Sunderland boss was full of excitement himself when his side scored their goal: “When that goal goes in, there’s so much emotion that it’s just hard to describe. It’s relief, pride. Unfortunately I’m quite aggressive when I show all that! I don’t try to be!

“If I’m honest, I’m just so pleased for the players, because they do get written off. People talked about coming here, Sheffield Wednesday being favourites. So, they can put that in their pipe.

“I thought it was no more than we deserved. We’ve switched off once and been punished for it. We’ve defended really well up until then, we didn’t try to be defensive with our selection. I didn’t think we deserved to trail.

“I think this team completely represents me. And the thing is, they then have qualities that unfortunately for me I never, ever had as a player. So, if I can take that work-ethic, that determination, and put their quality next to it, it’s a good recipe.”

The Verdict: 

Sunderland showed brilliant fight to come back and score a late goal yesterday. It was a great representation of the team they have been since Alex Neil became boss.

It was a risky choice from Neil to stick with his team and not make any changes, especially when his side were 1-0 down. However, it was one that paid off as his side got the result.

The fact Neil says he always knew the goal was coming shows the understanding he has of his team and the fact they know what their boss wants from them.

The Black Cats will now go to meet Wycombe Wanderers in the final in the hope of gaining promotion to the Championship.

Passionate football fan supporting Barnet FC and Newcastle United. Currently studying a masters at UCFB alongside writing for Football League World.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Alex Neil makes tactical admissions following Sunderland’s dramatic win over Sheffield Wednesday

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