Bristol Rovers boss Graham Coughlan delivers brutal response following Sunderland defeat

Bristol Rovers boss Graham Coughlan was less than impressed with his players in the 2-0 defeat to Sunderland.

By Richard Mennear
Sunday, 24 February, 2019, 11:43
Luke O'Nien opens the scoring for Sunderland.

Luke O'Nien and Aiden McGeady ensured it was a comfortable afternoon at the Memorial Stadium for Jack Ross' side.

Sunderland took the lead through O'Nien's close range finish following a short corner routine between Grant Leadbitter and Aiden McGeady.

McGeady swung the ball to the back post, Will Grigg peeling off his defender before laying the ball on a plate for O'Nien to net his fifth of the campaign.

A disappointed Coughlan said: "I wasn’t impressed to be honest. I’m unhappy.

"I think attention to detail is one of my strengths as a manager, as a person, I am organised.

"To get done on detail I am not happy with that. At the end of the day we didn’t produce enough quality in the final third to hurt them, punish them or even get back in the game.

"The fact there was a short corner, we switch off, the ball comes into the box.

"We let Will Grigg, an international striker, a four-million-pound striker, get free in the box, he gets a shot off, in the six-yard box this is, and then it's bundled into the net.

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"We go down the other end, we have corners, we have free kicks. God knows what we were trying to do with them or what were doing.

"It is something we have to look at and work on. I will take ownership of it and it is obviously something I will have to change because our set pieces today were poor.

"Look they have a lot of quality and that’s why they are where they are.

"But maybe I am the only one at this football club who thinks we can compete with Sunderland and Portsmouth.

"Maybe I am the only one who believes we can compete with clubs like that, but that is my ambition.

"I still think we can compete with clubs like that, I still think we can do better.

"I am not accepting the fact that it was Sunderland. We have to be better. That could have been anyone and we would have been done by two set pieces."

And when pressed on whether it was the case that Sunderland were too good for Rovers, he simply replied: "Yes."