Sunderland boss, Lee Johnson, has bemoaned his side’s lack of concentration in recent weeks after their automatic promotion hopes were dented by back-to-back defeats in League One.
Since Johnson’s arrival at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland had been in electric form, with results putting the race for the top-two in League One in their own hands.
However, in the last week, Sunderland have lost out to Charlton Athletic and Wigan Athletic, conceding that advantage to Hull City and Peterborough United, who have now moved into complete control.
Irritatingly, Sunderland’s defence has been breached by sloppy goals from set-pieces, which Johnson is putting down to a lack of concentration.
As per Chronicle Live, Johnson said: “For me, it’s very simple: concentration. You’ve only got to look at the goals.
“That leads to anxiety, and then potentially to negativity, and therefore lack of flow in a performance.
“When we have been at our best, we’ve been rock solid in those details such as dead ball situations.
“When goals are scored by a wonderful bit of play, a wonderful finish, a bad refereeing decisions, a horrendous mistake by one of our players, that’s one thing.
“Dead balls are another.”
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Today, Sunderland are looking to bounce back and put those defeats behind them, but face a tough task doing so as they head to the coast to take on Blackpool.
Despite back-to-back draws, Neil Critchley’s side are unbeaten in their last six and are in contention to qualify for the play-offs and challenge Sunderland for promotion.
This is perhaps something that we are going to see from sides during the run-in this season. It’s been a long campaign and fatigue both physically and mentally is going to be an issue for managers.
Johnson is pinning Sunderland’s struggles in the last week on the mental side of the game and, specifically, concentration.
Sunderland need to shake that quickly in the coming weeks if they are to get over the line in the race for promotion.
We are at the business end of the season where you can’t afford to make sloppy mistakes. It might have cost the Black Cats the top-two and, if it continues, it could cost them in the play-offs.
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